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Third Cinema

Third Cinema And The Third World, Formal Dimensions, Periodizing Third Cinema, Ideology: Racism And Identification

"The anti-imperialist struggle of the peoples of the Third World and of their equivalents inside the imperialist countries constitutes today the axis of the world revolution. Third cinema is, in our opinion, the cinema that recognizes in that struggle the most gigantic cultural, scientific and artistic manifestation of our time, the great possibility of constructing a liberated personality with each people as the starting point—in a word, the decolonization of culture." These sentences were penned in 1969 by the revolutionary Argentine filmmakers Fernando Solanas and Octavio Getino in an essay titled "Towards a Third Cinema: Notes and Experiences for the Development of a Cinema of Liberation in the Third World."

This essay, along with several other manifestos, including the Brazilian Glauber Rocha's "Aesthetics of Hunger" and the Cuban Julio Garcia Espinosa's "For an Imperfect Cinema," placed questions regarding the interpenetration of political struggle, cultural struggle, and mass media squarely at the center of a global struggle against the intensification of Western imperialism. Other such proclamations, including Fernando Birri's "Cinema and Underdevelopment" and Tomás Gutierrez Alea's "The Viewer's Dialectic," underscored and elaborated the concerns of Latin American revolutionaries with media and mass movements. What Solanas and Getino called "third cinema" was imagined, in short, as a cinema of liberation. Third cinema was to be filmmaking that would aid nationalist movements in creating a new sociocultural solidarity in the struggle against Western imperialism and for national self-determination.

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