Friday, July 06, 2007

The image of the other through racist cinema

The west , because of his arrogance and supremacy in power , has in many occasions portrayed people of the third world , blacks, women, gays and working class people as evils .it is obvious that this same west has shown great amount of racism and segregation via movies especially Hollywood .Cinema through the image is strong enough to deviate truth and mislead facts and this is excactly what some western filmmakers are manipulating in their works .How many times we see Arabs portrayed as stupid donkeys and Africans as cannibals . Usually at Climax times,the Hollywoodian saviour comes out with a beautiful body,blue eyes and some times wearing a jewish hat ,Shashiya posing everlastly to protect humanity . Although some leading roles interpreted by Blacks ,Chinese or Arabs ,the degree of racism remains higher and effective especially in dubbing the roles of these unwanted heroes ,using a stupid accent .(Allal El Alaoui)

Third Cinema - Ideology: Racism And Identification

Ideology: Racism and Identification

Third cinema set out to destroy various aspects of what has been called the colonial mentality and to replace it with various forms of cultural affirmation. Summing up the situation of the third world and its peoples in 1969, Solanas and Getino wrote, "Just as they are not masters of the land upon which they walk, the neo-colonized people are not masters of the ideas in their heads" (p. 48). In a situation in which colonial control was maintained not only by economic and police violence but by mind control, third cinema was given the status of a weapon in a war that was not only for land and for laboring bodies, but also for minds. Quoting from their landmark film La Hora de los Hornos (The Hour of the Furnaces, 1968), a scathing analysis of the structure of Argentine society that sought to at once explain the violence foisted upon Argentina by Western capitalism and to offer a revolutionary solution, Solanas and Getino write, "In order to impose itself, neo-colonialism needs to convince the people of a dependent country of their own inferiority. Sooner or later the inferior man recognizes Man with a capital M; this recognition meant the destruction of his defenses. If you want to be a man, says the oppressor, you have to be like me, speak my language, deny your own being, transform yourself into me."

The situation of colonial identification with the oppressor was forcefully formulated fifteen years earlier by one of the clear influences on this manifesto, Frantz Fanon, the philosopher, psychoanalyst, and expositor of negritude from Martinique. Fanon, after completing his education in Paris and painfully discovering that in spite of his colonial French education he was not seen to be French by the French colonizers of Martinique, lived and worked in Algeria. In Black Skin, White Masks (1952), Fanon wrote, "To speak a language is to take on a world, a culture. The Antilles Negro who wants to be white will be the whiter as he gains greater mastery of the cultural tool that language is.… Historically, it must be remembered that the Negro wants to speak French because it is the key that can open doors which were still barred to him fifty years ago." Thus in a film like La noire de … (Black Girl, 1966) by the Senegalese writer and director Ousmane Sembene, an impoverished Senegalese woman who works as a maid for a white expatriate French couple is persuaded to return with them to France to work in their home. Audiences see how her need to leave a life with no promising future in a Senegal recoiling under the destruction of colonization is coupled to her aspiration for the wealth and power of the Western metropole. Her desire for a better life in France becomes part of her oppression and eventual destruction. Although motivated by dreams of a better life in the colonial center, she finds instead utter isolation and virtual enslavement. Her tragedy, which Sembene handles with a devastating economy of means that requires from audiences an intense engagement with the experience of the Senegalese protagonist, is, at the end of the film, shown as reported by a French newspaper in two column inches. The contrast between what she has undergone in the house of the French and the official story told in the "objective" language of the press raises her tragedy to the level of outrage while showing how inadequate dominant media are to understand the colonial condition.