Harvard Anthropologist's Book Inspires Oscar-Nominated Film

Kimberly Theidon's book on female victims of Peruvian violence was the basis for The Milk of Sorrow, nominated for best foreign-language film.

The Academy Awards on March 7 will include a nominee in the Foreign Language Film category based on a book by medical anthropologist Kimberly  Theidon, associate professor of anthropology. The Spanish-language book Entre Prójimos: El conflicto armado interno y la política de la reconciliación en el Perú (2004) compiles testimonies by women who were raped, assaulted, or otherwise mistreated during politically based violence that swept through Peru's Andean highlands in the 1980s. Victims who were mothers sometimes insisted that their traumas had been passed on to their children via milk from the breast.  The  film, accordingly titled The Milk of Sorrow (La Teta Asustada), by Peruvian director Claudia Llosa, deals with the crippling emotional scars inflicted in the aftermath of the Shining Path uprising and paramilitary clashes with Peru's former violent and repressive regime. An interview with Theidon explores the film's origins. The book will be available in English this fall from Stanford University Press, with the title Intimate Enemies: Violence and Reconciliation in Peru.

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