In a recent interview with The Los Angeles Times, School of Theatre, Film & Television Asst. Professor Dr. Orquidea Morales (pictured) shared insights about the legend of La Llorona in Mexican and Latin American Folklore.
“We can talk about Mexican national identity through her. We can talk about indigeneity, gender, sexuality, trauma, mourning — all of these things that are difficult and painful,” said Morales.
The piece explores the origins and connections of La Llorona, the reclaiming of the legend, and the humanity we can find in ‘monsters.’ “We can think about external monsters and ghosts, but what do those ghosts tell us about ourselves?” said Morales.
For Morales, the details of the legend provoke different emotions. Morales grew up knowing of her as a “woman whose husband crossed the border into the U.S. for work. Her child accidentally drowned when she tried to find him as they crossed the river. She [dies] out of sorrow.”
“I grew up on the border, back and forth, so I empathize with her,” said Morales. “Our idea of what terrifies us changes across time and space.”
Dr. Morales‘ work on border violence, Latinx media, and horror has been published in journals such as Film Quarterly and Flow. She is currently completing a manuscript that traces the movement of La Llorona in Mexican and U.S. film.Read more at LA Times