Capítulo II _ Cinema - Cinema

“Your choices are only as good as your options are”: o small-town noir em Little Woods (2018)

André Francisco
CEAUL/ULisboa, Portugal
N.º 14 (2023)
Publicado 2024-01-05


Little Woods (2018) is a film written and directed by Nia DaCosta and tells the story of two sisters, Ollie and Deb, and their hard life in a small town in North Dakota. For years, Ollie has illegally helped the residents of her oil boom-town gain access to Canadian health care and medicines. In order to improve their lives, the sisters are driven to work outside the law. However, Ollie is at greater risk because she was busted once already for transporting drugs and she is on probation. 
The film explores some of the tropes of film noir and neo-noir, yet subvert one of the most important elements: space. Normally, noir is associated with a large oppressive city as the standard landscape, however, other spaces have also been used to explore the noir themes. Imogen Sara Smith argues that “in small towns, the neighborliness and persistence of tradition that should be virtues are twisted into corruption, repressive conformity and hostility toward outsiders.” (2011; 3)
Considering this, the purpose of this communication is to analyze how Little Woods claims noir aesthetics and themes and explores the small-town space and its tensions, as well as how it reveals the failed “American dream” in a rural area. Through the eyes of an African-American female protagonist, unusual to the genre, the film reconfigures noir by examining the problems of small communities and the relationship of the protagonist with this environment.

Palavras-chave Little Woods, Small-town, Noir, Space, Woman.
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Este trabalho encontra-se publicado com a Licença Internacional Creative Commons Atribuição 4.0.

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