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Women's Epistolary Cinema. Exploring Female Alterity and Intersubjectivity: Letter-Films and Filmic Correspondences


This article aims to analyse of the relevance of female authorship in the creation of contemporary epistolary cinema, focusing on letter-films and filmic correspondences. The works of various filmmakers are essential to understand the evolution of these enunciation devices since the emergence of cinematic modernity to the present moment. Since Agnès V arda represented an epistolary correspondence between women –L’une chante, l’autre pas (1977)– and Marguerite Duras created an epistolary diptych as two identity-alterity variations –Aurélia Stéiner (1979)–, other women filmmakers have developed this cinematic form. Letter-films delve into epistolary seriality and materiality –Cartas visuales (Tiziana Panizza, 2005-2012,) and Envíos (Jeannette Muñoz, 2005-2017)– and deepens the concept of alterity –Elena (Petra Costa, 2012). Filmic correspondences work on emotion-image –This World (Naomi Kawase and Hirokazu Kore-eda, 1996), In Between Days (Naomi Kawase and Isaki Lacuesta, 2009)– and shows female intersubjectivity –So Yong Kim (2011), Life May Be (Mania Akbari, Mark Cousins, 2014), A Moon for my Father (Mania Akbari, Douglas White, 2019), Transoceánicas (Meritxell Colell Aparicio, Lucía Vassallo, 2020). Women’s letter-films and filmic correspondences delve into the exploration of intimate space, authorial vindication and epistolary materiality, in order to create diverse experiences of female alterity and intersubjectivity.

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