Building a sense of Nationalism Through Third Cinema It is more than just merely plausible that Third cinema can be used as a vehicle to build a sense of nationalism for Barbadians and the wider Caribbean. Fed on a steady diet of commercial cinema from the developed world, former colonies have acquired the taste for such. This is evident in the numbers that attend the Cinemas to watch blockbusters of their favorite stars while the local productions are left with the scrapes of the viewership fraternity who are either sake holders or those which have some academic interest in the area.
Third cinema is often confused with Third world cinema because of the origins and locations of the cache of films, which have the aesthetic composition, required for classification that have influenced filmmakers from Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean mainly. (Dodge) However even with this coincidental occurrence of being the third movement of cinema after the Hollywood commercial cinema (first cinema) and the European art films (second cinema) this third movement has focused on, and used, Third world issues to create a particular aesthetic.
Had this cinema been classified earlier or later it would possibly have broken the somewhat ambiguous situation, which currently occurs where the name is concerned. Eisenstein claimed that all films were political but not in the same way. This assertion forms the basis of the concept of Third Cinema. This type of cinema describes a film practice and criticism, which is best, suited in addressing the inequalities of political systems. (Wayne, 1) Wayne further states that this cinema that has its roots in the 1960s and 1970s gained even further attention with academia after Teshome Grabriel’s book Third Cinema in the Third World.
Clarifying the ambiguous concept by finally indicating that Third Cinema is not defined by geography but by social politics. Kwame Nkrumah first coined the term neocolonialism and suggested that is it a new system used to control former colonies by dictating what they consumed meanwhile preventing political and economic conditions for optimum development. (Neo-Colonialism xiv) This opinion is shared by Solanas and Octavio Getino who further suggest that culture is somewhat oppressed and to overcome this situation revolution needs to be encouraged which is capable of contributing to the fall of the capitalist system. Towards a Third Cinema) This is the view that has informed the various aesthetic ideals of Third Cinema that includes: the questioning of existing post-colonial structures, an aim to liberate the oppressed, the questioning of identity and community within communities and diaspora populations, dialoguing with history to challenge past concepts, challenging viewers with the lived experience and strives to rearticulate the nation by using the politics of inclusion and the ideas of people to engender new models. (Dodge)
Teshome Gabriel considers the main principal of cinema made in the third world to be “the ideology it exposes and the consciousness it displays”. This ideology being referred to represents the Imperialist view. A story or a view will change depending on who is doing the packaging of that view. Teshome suggests that by exposing these misconceptions that Third World cinema would further have the ability to allow the audience to think and form conclusions which would differ from the information presented by the commercial cinema.
Dodge supports this by stating, “Third Cinema harnesses the power of film to increase social consciousness about issues of power, nationhood, identity, and oppression around the world. For audiences within these regions, particularly those facing cultural and political subordination, Third Cinema aims to illustrate the historical and social processes that have brought about their oppression and to indicate where transformation is required. Stuart Hall in his examination of Cultural Identity and Diaspora summarises Franz Fanon as saying that Colonization is not satisfied merely with holding a people in its grip and emptying the native’s brain of all form and content. By a kind of perverted logic, it turns to the past of oppressed people, and distorts, disfigures and destroys it. (Hall 224) Mass communications tend to complete the destruction of a national awareness of a collective subjectivity on the way to enlightenment, a destruction which begins as soon as the child has access to these media, the education nd culture of the ruling class. (Getino, Solanas 38) After this statement Getino and Solanas quote statistics that highlight the influence the media has in determining the “colonization of taste and consciousness”. This explains their quote which states “the Camera is the inexhaustible expropriator of image-weapons: the projector a gun, that can shoot 24 frames per second. ” (Martin, 50) Paired with the old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words and one will see why this statement is so impactful.
The pun on the word shoot in referring to the framerate conveys a sense of destruction faster than any modern artillery. Julia Lesage in The Other Francisco Creating History takes aim at the main consideration of this article by stating: “In revolutionary Latin America, as in Cuba or Nicaragua, the new government must immediately begin to decolonize the media — in order to promote national identity and new habits of reception in spectators.
These two countries have approached this task by creating national film institutes, prioritizing the use of expensive imported filmmaking materials and also recognizing mass media’s power as a social institution. Black Girl (1966) is the first feature film by Ousmane Sembene which explored the effect that a dominant culture can have over another. Landy supports the notion of film being used to shape nationalism by stating, “film itself can be shaped as an instrument in the struggle of cultural liberation”.
Traditionally a story such as this would be told from the point of view of the masters and their relationship to the oppressed servant girl. However, in keeping with Landy’s assertions and with the Third Cinema aesthetic it is Diouana the servant girl who the camera concentrates on which results in the audience being captivated by her plight. La Hora de los Hornos (The Hour of the Furnances, 1968) is a film that examines Argentine society and takes aim at the intellectuals of the country who have become re-enslaved to the Imperialists.
This film uses a number of techniques including “Eisensteinian montage, interview, verite factory scenes, long blocks of text, and a handful of brief narrative excursions. ” (Beckett) Getino and Solanas attempt to use the film as a rally call to revolution in advancing Marxist ideals by juxtaposing the reality of the lived experience versus the represented pseudo reality that First World media sought to create. The way has been paved for the Caribbean to continue to explore the Third Cinema. Hall even suggests that there is a “new Third Cinema” which is emerging in the Caribbean.
Indeed development has already been started with more and more film schools and courses that are being started. Given the historically negative reaction of imperialist to leftist ideology it would not be wise for Caribbean states to aggressively pursue the third cinema aesthetic of the 60s and 70s. However, Barbados and the Caribbean, can use some of the knowledge and techniques to showcase things ‘Barbadiana’ and of the wider Caribbean. Research and behavior theory has shown that the environment, in which they develop, forms a person’s opinions, language and behavioral characteristics.
The effectiveness of the messages also increases in potency if this message is enshrined in the psyche or a person from a young age. (Meacham) However this solution is not as straightforward as presented. Having already acquired the taste for the commercial type cinema it will be difficult to break this trend among the older generation who dictate what the younger generation view. National policy towards these types of films is also a major consideration which will either suppress or can be used to maximize the potential that can be realize in these films by allowing the biggest possible viewing audience.
This effort can be similar to what was done by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and during the golden age of Classic American Hollywood Cinema which used also used film as a tool for culturalization. End Notes Beckett, Colin. “Some thoughts following Hour of the Furnaces” Uniondocs, 14 Apr. 2010. Web. 23 Nov. 2012 Dodge, Kim. Third (World) Cinema: What is Third Cinema? Thirdcinema. blueskylimit, 2007. Web. 17th Nov. 2012 Gabriel, Teshome. Third cinema in the third world? : the aesthetics of liberation?. Michigan: 1982 UMI Research Press, 1982. Print Getino and Solanas.
Towards a Third Cinema 1969. Unknown Hall, Stuart. “Cultural Identity and Diaspora” Framework no 36. 1989. Web. 23rd Nov. 2012 Landy, Marsha. “Politics and style in Black Girl” A Review of Contemporary Media, Jump Cut no. 27. 1982: 23-25. Web. 23rd Nov. 2012 Meacham, Wesley. Environmental Psychology A view of Human Behavior and How People are Effected by Population Density and Territory. wesleymeacham. hubpages. 16 Sept 2012. Web. 24th Nov. 2012 Martin, Michael. New Latin American Cinema: Theory, Practices and Transcontinental Articulations: Wayne State University Press? , 1997.
Print. Nkrumah, Kwame. Neo-colonialism? : the last stage of imperialism?. London: Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd. 1965. Print Further Reading Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth: A Negro Psychoanalyst’s Study of the Problems of Racism and Colonialism in the World Today. New York: Grove Press, Inc. , 1966, Print. Godard and Sterritt. Jean-Luc Godard: Interview University. Press of Mississippi, 1998. Print. Hamid, Rahul. Introduction to Black Girl” Senses of Cinema 2002. Web. 24th Nov. 2012 Unknown, Third Cinema – Ideology: Racism and Identification. Science. jrank. n. d. Web. 23 Nov.
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