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Film theory, Third Cinema, First Cinema - Essay Example

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Representation and the construction of stereotypes typify the imperial cinema, underscoring its racial and gender bias. This was depicted in the films, Sanders of the River (1935) and Indochine (1992). …
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Download file to see previous pages The film contained many symbolisms, which, according to Loomba are necessary in imagining nationhood and building nations (215). In the film, the British were depicted as the savior, keeping Africans from destruction and keeping the colonies from descending in chaos and savagery. The scenes of chaos, savagery and the wilderness of Africa, for instance, all supported the rationalization of Britain's imperialism. The narrative also sought to rewrite many African emblems and history in order to suit what Stam and Shohat called the colonialist norms. The rewriting of Bosambo from a tribal leader and good friend to a good servant in the film is a case in point. It reinforced the notion that blacks are incapable of self-determination. Gender bias was also present. The filmmaker insinuated that the deeply parochial Commissioner Sanders, who considered women as a distraction in his mission, was the ideal character to effectively lead the imperialist agenda in Africa. In Indochine, the imperialist tone is less pronounced. Its biases were more subtle, perhaps owing to the period it was made. Racist discourses are not overt or contained in the actual language: the roles and visual language insinuated them instead. For instance, while the protagonist – the Frenchwoman Eliane – was strong, independent and capable, such commendable gender treatment was not true in her Indochinese counterparts. It reinforced the suggestion of inferiority. This is also true n the contrast between the visual representation of the French and Indochinese societies as punctuated in sweeping cinematography wherein one basks in a scene of grandeur and the other in desolation. It showed the Eurocentrism, which imply that an being or becoming European is the only way to begin the onward march to reason or an elevation towards better values (Stam and Shohat, 15-16). 2. It is important to highlight first that the Third Cinema differentiates itself from the Hollywood (First Cinema) and the European films (Second Cinema). It focuses on a political position, particularly those about independence, decolonization and imperialism as opposed to cinema as a capitalist product or as an art (Alea, 112-113). The Battle of Algiers is an important example of this tradition. In the depiction of the Algerian struggle for independence from France, three important characteristics of Third Cinema were prominent. First there was the use of cinematic devices to present truth instead of fiction. For instance, there were no embellishments with regards to presenting the story. Although the film was sympathetic to the revolutionaries it also included the atrocities that they committed. There were also no heroes to romanticize. The film gave importance to the contribution of the ordinary people in the success of the revolution. In one scene, there were Arab women dressed in European clothes in a mission to plant bombs. Secondly, the filmmaker presented the film in such a way that created a social experience. As it depicted a social upheaval, the emphasis was given on the masses and their actions. For example, the actions of the main players in the film were often composed in populous places like the Casbah and Algiers. Then, instead of using popular actors, the filmmaker did not hire stars (with the exception of Jean Martin) or professional actors ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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