Features and Columns · Movies

How ‘Y Tu Mamá También’ Gets Voiceover Narration Right

Here’s a video essay on how the voiceover narration in ‘Y Tu Mamá También’ teases out a political and personal consciousness.
Y Tu Mama Tambien voiceover
IFC Films
By  · Published on August 6th, 2020

Welcome to The Queue — your daily distraction of curated video content sourced from across the web. Today, we’re watching a video that explores the Y Tu Mama Tambien voiceover narration.

When voiceover narration is bad, it’s bad.

Without a good reason to exist, narration can feel contrived and cliché, a way of cheating the storytelling process rather than adding to or elevating it. But, like all things, there are exceptions where fantastic uses of voiceover feel necessary. Such is the case with Y Tu Mamá También, which features an omniscient and unexplained narrator that interrupts our three leads with reflections on a personal and national past.

As the video essay below describes, the odd, unknown narrator in Y Tu Mamá También highlights the extraordinary in the mundane, teasing out the radiance and scale of a story rooted in cinematic realism. His commentary hints at a greater timeline of events, unknown to us, and gracefully collides the past, the present, and the future.

Watch “Y Tu Mamá También: Narrating Identities“:

Who made this?

This video is written and edited by Affrica Handley of We Need to Talk About FilmYou can check out the Australia-based video essayist’s back catalog here. And you can subscribe to them on Twitter here. This essay, from two years ago, is the most recent upload in their YouTube feed.

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Meg Shields is the humble farm boy of your dreams and a senior contributor at Film School Rejects. She currently runs three columns at FSR: The Queue, How'd They Do That?, and Horrorscope. She is also a curator for One Perfect Shot and a freelance writer for hire. Meg can be found screaming about John Boorman's 'Excalibur' on Twitter here: @TheWorstNun. (She/Her).