The European Journal of Cultural Studies published an article by Eduard Cuelenaere, Stijn Joye and myself. By drawing on the case of the Belgian film Hasta La Vista (2011) and its Dutch remake Adios Amigos (2016), we look at how the remake process transforms representations of national, disability and gender identities. You can read the article here.
Both films are popular road trip movies dealing with the adventure of three friends with disabilities who overcome boundaries in multiple ways. Not only by figuratively (and almost literally) escaping their parents and their disabilities but also through traveling, exploring sexuality, and eventually by dying. Although the films deal with almost exactly the same themes, their interpretation and contextualization differ considerably. As a consequence of the localizing processes embedded in film remakes, subtexts which were ingrained in the source text were ignored or even withheld in the newer version. As the involved filmmakers built on particular stereotypical visions and myths about these specific cultures and national identities, often with the purpose of recreating a socio-cultural context, such narrowed perceptions were occasionally subverted but also reconsolidated. Furthermore, through the remake process, some ableist and patronizing representations of, respectively, disability and gender identities were subverted, while others were kept or even reinforced. Our results show that such transformations point toward specific socio-culturally defined disability and gender identities but also toward a shared disability and gender culture.