Jenni M. Lehtinen’s Doña Bárbara Unleashed: From Venezuelan Plains to International Screen offers an in-depth analysis of four screen adaptations of Venezuelan author Rómulo Gallegos’s novel Doña Bárbara (1929). Considered a masterpiece of Venezuelan literature and a classic in Latin America’s literary canon, Gallegos’s novel explores the conflict between civilization and barbarism through the interactions it stages between Santos Luzardo, a lawyer from Venezuela’s Universidad Central, and Doña Bárbara, a “devourer of men” who controls the lands in the plains of Apure. Portrayed as a powerful, dangerous, and beautiful heroine/villainess unafraid to disrespect traditional gender roles, Gallegos’s Doña Bárbara has seduced readers in Venezuela and abroad, which has led her to live several afterlives in film and television. Each adaptation, as Lehtinen argues, confirms the character’s “chameleonic ability to change with the times, personifying the fantasies, fears and passions of different generations of television and film audiences” (5) and mirroring...

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