Third Cinema of the Third World

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As I was reading “Towards a Third Cinema” I began to understand the Third Cinema as a cinema that is resistant. It speaks to those that live in countries that have been affected by the harshness of colonialism. However, the impact of colonialism has not left these countries. The United States is capitalist and with that said, it makes the United States seem overbearing and have this aura of neo-colonialsm. Latin America, Africa, and Asia make revolutionary films to express their pains. This reading addresses Guerilla cinema and states that it is “the only cinema of the masses possible today, since it is the only one involved with the interests, aspirations, and prospects of the vast majority of the people”. Is it safe to say Michael Moore could be considered a guerilla documentary director? His documentaries try to address topics that involve the interests of Americans. Is it not on the same platform as those in countries that have affected first hand with colonialism? Or does it only pertain to non-Caucasians?

Rocha’s “An Aesthetic of Hunger” was an interesting article. However, this reading only pertained to Latin America. He is filled with sarcasm – calling Europeans “civilized” because he knows well before and now that Latin America, specifically Brazil (in his article), is considered “primitive” to European societies.

Rocha goes on to say “economic and political conditioning has led us to philosophical weakness and impotence that engenders sterility when conscious and hysteria when unconscious. It is for this reason that the hunger of Latin America is not simply an alarming symptom: it is the essence of our society…Our originality is our hunger and our greatest misery is that this hunger is felt but not intellectually understood.” I agree with Rocha. No matter how many films we see, how many pictures, how much art, or books we can read about the pains and sufferings of other cultures to break away from dictatorship, colonialism, racism, war – unless we are present there is no way to empathize even if we can sympathize.

Cinema Nova has worked its way around the world. It is a definite stray from popular cinema but has its own audience which shows the power behind media. It is a massive political tool and one that we can appreciate but one we should also be afraid of because of its impact.

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Posted by christina421   @   17 March 2010

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Mar 17, 2010
9:41 am
#1 Shana Santos :

Michael Moore definitely did not come to mind when I was reading the article but as I think about it I can definitely see how he can be considered a guerrilla director. He isn’t necessarily making revolutionary film; he is making documentaries exposing corruptions. They are somewhat in your face and intended to cause you to react and become aware of what going on, which is what third cinema is intended to do.
But to answer your question I don’t think Moore’s films would be characterized by Fernando Solanas and Octavio Getino as third cinema. Third Cinema is “a cinema outside and against the system, in a cinema of liberation”. They essentially are striving for a cultural liberation. Michael Moore does present films outside and against the system, but they’re intention is to expose corruption.

Mar 17, 2010
1:10 pm
#2 Amy Herzog :

Great question! I think Shana is right that Moore doesn’t meet the standards of Third Cinema as established by Solanas and Getino. While interested in exposing corruption, Moore is still part of the system to the extent that his work is shown in mainstream theaters, distributed on video– no one took to the streets to revolt after viewing Sicko (although one might argue that the revolutionary ideals of the actual Third Cinema films fell short of their goals, too).

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