In analyzing the film Kiss Of The Spider Woman by Hector Babenco, the first thing I noticed was how the two cellmates in South America, Molina and Valentin were two very different people; in fact, perfect opposites. Molina is a homosexual who has been imprisoned for sexual offenses, while Valentin is a political prisoner, meaning that he is part of a political regime that is seemingly a part of a terrorist group against the government of South America. We know this when he speaks of Marta, "a middle class woman, who has it all”, which indicates that he himself is a peasant or of low class status that is part of a political group striving to gain rights and equality. Valentin is tortured by authorities and is even given food that has been poisoned in an attempt to gain information about other revolutionaries in his political group. These authorities get Molina involved as an inside source to get Valentin to slip up. However, while prying into Valentin's life, Molina grows deeply affectionate of him and chooses not to help in such a scheme. Due to an agreement that Molina had made with the authorities, he is released on parole, but not after he and Valentin become physically intimate drawing the two even closer. Afterwards, Valentin gives him a phone number to call to help his political group. Molina tries to help, but is eventually killed. In the next scene we see Valentin in a hospital after he has been badly beaten and he is thinking about the one thing that gives him strength to survive, Marta. In short, what seems to be a film about how two very different people come together in times of struggle, turns out to be a film about gaining individual freedom.
Though the film's usefulness in describing the context of Latin America is rather hard to distinguish, we do however see the struggle that most Latin Americans went through in trying to find their place in a society that was made up of a culmination of people striving to gain freedom and independence.