Volume index - Journal index - Article index - Map ---- Back

Comunicar Journal 36: Television and its New Expressions (Vol. 18 - 2011)

Teenagers and motherhood in the cinema: «Juno», «Precious» and «The Greatest»


Today in Spain there are many teenagers who suffer unwanted pregnancies. The extension of the abortion law and the approval of the sale of morning-after pill without a prescription have focused attention on girls under 18. The possibilities of motherhood, an unwanted pregnancy and the alternatives are variables that young women face in the real world, and upon which the discourses of films are constructed, some of which coincide with reality and some of which do not. On the big screen we can see movies like Juno, Precious and The Greatest which express different points of view about the topic of teenage pregnancy. These audiovisual texts have a direct impact on the creation and proliferation of models, attitudes and values. Their influence upon young people is evident and they form a reference alongside family and school for adopting certain patterns of behavior and assimilating socially accepted archetypes. This paper analyzes these films from a gender perspective, using the tools of both audiovisual language and textual analysis. Through this analysis, we establish that visions of motherhood and adolescent sex are constructed and identify the strategies used for the production of meaning in these films. The results show how the models and stereotypes survive under the appearance of renewed and alternative audiovisual discourse.