The pragmatics of fiction: How the roles of victims and perpetrators of Colombian “false positives” are portrayed in the film Silence in Paradise = La pragmática de la ficción: Cómo se representan los roles de víctima y victimario de los falsos positivos colombianos en la película Silencio en el paraíso


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Digitalización realizada por la Biblioteca Virtual del Banco de la República (Colombia)
  • Las Artes; Las Artes / Artes recreativas y de la actuación
  • Pragmatics of fiction; Silence in Paradise; Film analysis; Participation structures; Fictional characterization; Telecinematic discourse; Pragmática de la ficción; Silencio en el paraíso; Análisis cinematográfico; Estructuras de participación; Caracterización en la ficción; Discurso telecinematográfico
  • Colfuturo
  • © Derechos reservados del autor
  • Bogotá (Colombia); Colombia
  • Abstract: The analysis of telecinematic discourse has been instrumental in our understanding of real-life events. From semiotic theories born in the last century to more recent developments in multimodal film analysis, scholars have attempted to make sense of the codes embedded in the image and in the language used by the characters to illustrate the complex dynamics of culture and society. However, little has been written about the role of pragmatics in the study of fiction. This research intends to fill in that gap by adopting two main pragmatic approaches ─namely fictional characterisation and participation structures in telecinematic discourse─ to the study of a relevant film in the Colombian context: Silence in Paradise. The film, portraying one of the most painful, violent events in recent Colombian history, was examined to determine how communication is organised in interaction as well as the way the roles of victims and perpetrators were depicted along the film in light of the real events occurred in the South American country. The principles to pragmatic film analysis outlined by Messerli (2017), Dynel (2011) and Culpeper and Fernandez-Quintanilla (2017) were considered to chart and interpret the data from three key scenes of the movie. Research findings suggest, on the one hand, that the film vividly portrays the events in spite of some problematic ideas that could help perpetuate violence against the victims and, on the other, that viewers are in fact ratified participants that contribute to the overall comprehension of the movie. Further studies are needed to analyse the extent to which viewers engage cognitively and affectively with the characters as well as to understand more in detail the role of the actors in character construction.
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