Myths, traditions, and rituals of food in Spanish cinema

Eva Navarro Martínez 1  and Alejandro Buitrago Alonso 1
  • 1 Universidad de Valladolid, Valladolid, Spain
Eva Navarro Martínez and Alejandro Buitrago Alonso


This paper analyses how food is represented in cinema, using as its main examples Spanish films from 1970 to the current day. It will focus on how food and eating become semiotic objects and how these semiotic objects are used as a cinematographic tool. To undertake this analysis it is important to differentiate between three food-related aspects: (1) The act of eating, (2) Places for eating, and (3) food itself. The methodological approach in the paper is based on the study of the functions that these distinct food-related aspects have in movies and as indicators of national identity. These functions span a large range of narrative, aesthetic, ideological, metaphorical or symbolic, structural or referential dimensions. They contribute to the development of characters as well as framing other stories and critical representations. They also criticize habits, social groups, ideologies, and gender roles, etc.

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