Juana Inés de la Cruz, a powerful feminist nun involved in a forbidden love affair with a woman, faces oppression in 17th-century Mexico.
Runtime: 52 minutes
Juana Inés - Juana Inés de la Cruz - Netflix
Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, O.S.H. (English: Sister Joan Agnes of the Cross; 12 November 1648 – 17 April 1695), was a self-taught scholar and student of scientific thought, philosopher, composer, and poet of the Baroque school, and Hieronymite nun of New Spain, known in her lifetime as “The Tenth Muse”, “The Phoenix of America”, or the “Mexican Phoenix”. Sor Juana lived during Mexico's colonial period, making her a contributor both to early Mexican literature as well as to the broader literature of the Spanish Golden Age. Beginning her studies at a young age, Sor Juana was fluent in Latin and also wrote in Nahuatl, and became known for her philosophy in her teens. Sister Juana educated herself in her own library, which was mostly inherited from her grandfather. After joining a nunnery in 1667, Sor Juana began writing poetry and prose dealing with such topics as love, feminism, and religion. Her criticism of misogyny and the hypocrisy of men led to her condemnation by the Bishop of Puebla, and in 1694 she was forced to sell her collection of books and focus on charity towards the poor. She died the next year, having caught the plague while treating her fellow nuns.
Juana Inés - The Dream - Netflix
The Dream, a long philosophical and descriptive silva (a poetic form combining verses of 7 and 11 syllables), “deals with the shadow of night beneath which a person falls asleep in the midst of quietness and silence, where night and day animals participate, either dozing or sleeping, all urged to silence and rest by Harpocrates. The person's body ceases its ordinary operations, which are described in physiological and symbolical terms, ending with the activity of the imagination as an image-reflecting apparatus: the Pharos. From this moment, her soul, in a dream, sees itself free at the summit of her own intellect; in other words, at the apex of an own pyramid-like mount, which aims at God and is luminous. There, perched like an eagle, she contemplates the whole creation, but fails to comprehend such a sight in a single concept. Dazzled, the soul's intellect faces its own shipwreck, caused mainly by trying to understand the overwhelming abundance of the universe, until reason undertakes that enterprise, beginning with each individual creation, and processing them one by one, helped by the Aristotelic method of ten categories. The soul cannot get beyond questioning herself about the traits and causes of a fountain and a flower, intimating perhaps that his method constitutes a useless effort, since it must take into account all the details, accidents, and mysteries of each being. By that time, the body has consumed all its nourishment, and it starts to move and wake up, soul and body are reunited. The poem ends with the Sun overcoming Night in a straightforward battle between luminous and dark armies, and with the poet's awakening.” Dramas In addition to the two comedies outlined here (Pawns of a House [Los empeños de una casa] and Love is More a Labyrinth [Amor es mas laberinto]), Sor Juana is attributed as the author of a possible ending to the comedy by Agustin de Salazar: The Second Celestina (La Segunda Celestina). In the 1990’s, Guillermo Schmidhuber found a release of the comedy that contained a different ending than the otherwise known ending. He proposed that those one thousand words were written by Sor Juana. Some literary critics, such as Octavio Paz, Georgina Sabat-Rivers, and Luis Leal) have accepted Sor Juana as the co-author, but others, such as Antonio Alatorre and Jose Pascual Buxo, have refuted it. Comedies In the scholarly article, “Humor in Spain’s American Colonies: The Case of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz,” author Julie Greer Johnson describes how Sor Juana protested against the rigorously defined relationship between genders through her full-length comedies and humor. While literary dramas “became secularized and levity was added to otherwise austere moral themes,” women often emerged as comic characters, frequently exemplifying negative behavior. Although “such misconduct was regarded as serious, presenting the commission of folly within a humorous context was thought to make the lesson to women more palatable.” Humor “reinforced male authority and attempted to control female sexuality,” but Sor Juana was undaunted and ultimately turned this attitude to her advantage. By recognizing the power of laughter, she “endeavored to appropriate it on behalf of colonial women,” deducing that humor “has the capacity to defuse contention or even silence opposition,” and “the potential to provoke an imaginative framework in which reality may be restructured without provoking disapproval.” Through her use of humor, she “could call attention to the inequality of male-female images of femininity imposed upon them.” Pawns of a House The work was first performed on October 4, 1683, during the celebration of the Viceroy Count of Paredes’ first son’s birth. However, some critics maintain that it could have been set up for the Archbishop Francisco de Aguiar y Seijas’ entrance to the capital, even though this theory is not considered reliable. The story revolves around two couples who are in love but, by chance of fate, cannot yet be together. This comedy of errors is considered one of the most prominent works of late baroque Spanish-American literature. One of its most peculiar characteristics is that the driving force in the story is a woman with a strong, decided personality who expresses her desires to a nun. The protagonist of the story, Dona Leonor, fits the archetype perfectly. It is often considered the peak of Sor Juana’s work and even the peak of all New-Hispanic literature. Pawns of a House is considered a rare work in colonial Spanish-American theater due to the management of intrigue, representation of the complicated system of marital relationships, and the changes in urban life. Love is More a Labyrinth The work premiered on February 11, 1689, during the celebration of the inauguration of the viceroyalty Gaspar de la Cerda y Mendoza. However, in his Essay on Psychology, Ezequiel A. Chavez mentions Fernandez del Castillo as a coauthor of this comedy. The plot takes on the well-known theme in Greek mythology of Theseus: a hero from Crete Island. He fights against the Minotaur and awakens the love of Ariadne and Fedra. Sor Juana conceived Theseus as the archetype of the baroque hero, a model also used by her fellow countryman Juan Ruis de Alarcon. Theseus’ triumph over the Minotaur does not make Theseus proud, but instead allows him to be humble.
Juana Inés - References - Netflix