On the Outskirts of Form: Cosmopoetics in the Shadow of NAFTA

  • Michael Davidson

Abstract

In Alejandro Gonzáles Iñárritu’s 2006 film, Babel, the historical geography of globalization is presented through a series of interlinked stories about a crisis of communication among widely dispersed individuals.3 A Japanese businessman gives a rifle to a Moroccan herdsman who has served as the former’s guide on a hunting expedition in northern Africa. The herdsman gives the gun to his two sons so that they can ward off jackals that are preying on their herd of goats. While engaging in target practice, one of the boys shoots at a bus carrying tourists, striking an American woman, Susan (Cate Blanchett) and causing her husband, Richard (Brad Pitt), to staunch the bleeding while attempting frantically to contact the American embassy for medical aid in a remote mountain village. Once Susan is helicoptered to a hospital, Richard phones his undocumented Mexican nanny back home in San Diego and asks her to take care of their children for a few more days. The nanny, Amelia (Adriana Barraza), had planned on returning to Tijuana to witness her son’s wedding. Lacking any alternative childcare, she takes the two American children with her across the border. After the wedding, she returns late at night with her nephew, and when the border guards become inquisitive about the presence of two American children in the back seat, the inebriated nephew guns the car across the border, leaving Amelia and the children in the California desert.

Keywords

North American Free Trade Agreement Prose Passage Plant Closing Strip Club Bretton Wood Institution 
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Notes

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    On “structure of feeling,” see Raymond Williams, Marxism and Literature (Oxford: Oxford UP, 1977), 128–35.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Carrie Noland and Barrett Watten 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Davidson

There are no affiliations available

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