10. Paternity and Pathogens

Mourning Men and the Crises of Masculinity in Todo Sobre Mi Madre and Hable Con Ella

  1. Marvin D'Lugo and
  2. Kathleen M. Vernon
  1. Dean Allbritton

Published Online: 21 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118325360.ch10

A Companion to Pedro Almodóvar

A Companion to Pedro Almodóvar

How to Cite

Allbritton, D. (2013) Paternity and Pathogens, in A Companion to Pedro Almodóvar (eds M. D'Lugo and K. M. Vernon), Blackwell Publishing Ltd, Oxford. doi: 10.1002/9781118325360.ch10

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 21 FEB 2013
  2. Published Print: 15 APR 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405195829

Online ISBN: 9781118325360



  • Almodóvar;
  • gender;
  • Hable Con Ella;
  • masculinity;
  • paternity;
  • pathogens;
  • Todo Sobre Mi Madre


This chapter begins with the fleshiness of the Almodóvar's cinema, that is (at least, in part) a focus on physicality and sexuality. By teasing out the interplay between queer temporalities of gender and well-being, the chapter makes note of the ways that loss, illness, and gender bleed into each other in Todo sobre mi madre and Hable con ella. In so doing, the author claim that Almodóvar resists normative notions of identity and health while producing radical new forms of personhood based on illness and mortality. In Todo sobre mi madre, the director's use of creational and viral masculinities (“pathogenic masculinities”) sets up possibilities for new ways of imagining gender. In Hable con ella, Almodóvar highlights the vulnerability of the body, its susceptibility to death and loss, and the way in which masculinity both complies with and contributes to this process. The author also talks about Almodóvar's comment on paternity.