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In this essay I will explore in detail the curious Mexican film Like Water for Chocolate Como Agua Para Chocolate which I argue is a site for feminine resistance and empowerment The film incorporates the mundaneness of periodical romance and the fantastic characteristic of magic realism creating a new space for the exploration of otherwise naturalized binaries Like Water for Chocolate relies on a tenuous nexus of narrative structures sensuality and metaphor to create a shifting seemingly insubstantial landscape of subtle yet substantial subversive strength Upon first viewing the film is likely to create in the viewer a certain perturbing feeling of being ungrounded Yet it is doubtful that the viewer in this initial experience will notice the complex of relationships I describe herein The analysis I describe is one arrived at after repeated viewings analysis and research The Story Like Water for Chocolate is based on the book Como Agua Para Chocolate by screenwriter Laura Esquivel The original 1989 novel was a bestseller in Mexico for two years before being released in the US in 1992 The English version was translated by Carol Christensen and Thomas Christensen That same year the film version was released with screenplay by Esquivel and direction by her husband Alfonso Arau The film was distributed by Miramax and is currently available from Touchstone Home Video Like Water for Chocolate opened to very favorable reviews in the United States A brief synopsis of Like Water for Chocolate suggests that it is the story of Tita third daughter of Mama Elena and therefore consigned by tradition never to marry The story is related through the narration of Titas great niece Esperanzas daughter heir of Titas cookbook Tita must care for her mother until her death Tita and Pedro fall in love and he asks for her hand in marriage but it is forbidden by Mama Elena Instead he marries Titas sister Rosaura so that he can be close to Tita Tita
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