"Women were denied knowledge of their history, and thus each woman had to argue as though no woman before her had ever thought or written. Women had to use their energy to reinvent the wheel, over and over again, generation after generation. ... thinking women of each generation had to waste their time, energy and talent on constructing their argument anew. Generation after generation, in the face of recurrent discontinuities, women thought their way around and out from under patriarchal thought." (Lerner qtd in Merrim Modern Women xxiii) Lerner's words hold true for two women involved in the film I, the Worst of All. Both of them had to "reinvent the wheel" and show their male contemporaries that women can and will find their way out from under the control of patriarchy. Juana Ines de la Cruz and Maria Luisa Bemberg are separated by three centuries of continuous strife for feminists to affirm feminine subjectivity and feminine values. The struggle was/is doubly difficult because of what they have to face. At the time of making the film, Bemberg faced a mainstream cinema in which women were presented as a "function of male ambition" and as objects of possession, display, or currency (Bemberg in Pick 78). I, the Worst of All appeared in the 1990s, a time that we like to think is so different from the convent of 17th-centuryMexico. Bemberg shows us that it is not. Mainstream cinema never looks at women as "beings with ideas," as she says in an interview, but as empty shells, foils for the male characters, so that they can act and think (Pick 78). She had to fight a whole tradition of male filmmaking with her movie, and (re)assert her own feminist values in a film that challenges all the stereotypical filmic representation... ...berg Tells the Untold." Americas 46 (Mar/Apr 1994): 20. Bergmann, Emilie. "Abjection and Ambiguity: Lesbian Desire in Bemberg's "Yo, la peor de todas." Hispanisms and Homosexualities. Ed. Sylvia Molloy and Robert McKee Irwin. Durham: Duke UP, 1998. de la Cruz, Juana Ines. "Hombres Necios." A Sor Juana Anthology. Ed.Alan S. Trueblood. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard UP, 1988. Merrim, Stephanie. Early Modern Writing and Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz. Nashville: Vanderbilt UP, 1999. Mulvey, Laura. "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema." Erens 28-41. Pick, Zuzana M. "An Interview with Maria Luisa Bemberg." Journal of Film and Video 44. 3-4 (Fall-Winter 1992-93): 76. Williams, Bruce. "The Reflection of a Blind Gaze: Maria Luisa Bemberg, Filmmaker." A Woman's Gaze: Latin American Women Artists. Ed. Marjorie Agosin. New York; White Pine Press, 1998. 171-90.
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