Princesa: Re-gendering and Politicizing the Fairy Tale in Contemporary Migrants' Artistic Productions

By Else R. P. Vieira.

Published by The International Journal of New Media, Technology and the Arts

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This paper discusses the politicization of the fairy tale in contemporary society by analyzing the Cinderella subplot introduced in the film Princesa (dir. Henrique Goldman, UK and Italy, 2001), an adaptation of the eponymous autobiography of Fernanda Farias de Albuquerque, a Brazilian transgender who migrated to Europe. Relativizing the claim that the actions and functions of dramatis personae of fairy tales do not change, it looks at the film as a palimpsestic text which increasingly politicizes the classical Cinderella and alters the spectator’s traditional views of gender roles and sexuality. It further interconnects gender fluidity and migration in the globalized world and draws upon Zipes(1986), inter alia, to assess whether Princesa can be categorized as a feminist fairy tale that speaks in a voice that has been generally silenced. It finally analyses the agency of this gender ambiguous protagonist and ways in which Goldman’s film has departed from the optical unconscious of Walt Disney’s model of conformity in his 1949 adaptation of Charles Perrault’s 1697 classic to the screen.

Keywords: Henrique Goldman's Princesa, Politicization, Fairy Tale

The International Journal of New Media, Technology and the Arts, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp.19-29. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 600.494KB).

Prof. Else R. P. Vieira

Professor of Brazilian and Comparative Latin American Studies, Department of Iberian and Latin American Studies, Queen Mary, University of London, London, UK