Ofelia the Saint
Ofelia the Saint takes place between 1954 and 1979, during a period in which the Mexican economy boomed with rapid industrialization which included the mining industry. It centers around a young woman named Ofelia who rises up against a multinational mining company (Empreza Stil) that forces itself upon her ancestral land and traces her passage from birth to womanhood, challenging authority and inspiring the women in her village to break away from gender constraints and reclaim their land along the way. When I imagined Ofelia living in the village, she emerged as a playfully rebellious, strong-willed ten-year-old girl, ready to challenge the world, or at least challenge the traditional gender roles guarded by its paternalistic society. It became apparent that a woman with Ofelia’s drive would find it increasingly difficult to negotiate around the domestic, political, and religious institutions that challenge women’s ascent to a much greater degree. From there, other female protagonists began to appear, each facing personal issues that would culminate around Ofelia’s evolutionary journey.
Duarte, Samuel H, "Ofelia the Saint" (2019). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI27739192.