Remembering Nissa Torrents

By James Leahy

As soon as I became involved in the planning of Vertigo, I knew that Nissa was one of the people I most wanted to recruit to write for us. Tragically, this was not to be. Nissa died last autumn, following an emergency operation for cancer.

I last saw her just before she set off on the trip to Cuba during which she fell ill. We talked about Twin Peaks and the state of education – how pre-packaged it was becoming. We talked about the work she’d been doing on Latin American cinema and how her forthcoming visit to the archives at the Cuban Film Institute (ICAIC) would contribute to her research. We talked about Vertigo and a possible article from her on the current state of Cuban film culture and the morale and prospects of Cuban film-makers.

She was never to write this article, but her book on Argentinean cinema, Argentina In Crisis: From Alfonsin to Menem, will be published this winter by the Institute of Latin American Studies in London.

Colin Lewis, Nissa’s posthumous editor, adds: ‘As all who knew her testify, Nissa brought to the teaching of Latin American literature and cinema a vibrancy which stimulated the interests of students and colleagues alike. Her interests transcended narrow academic boundaries.’

Nissa, we miss you. None of us will forget you.