From Third Cinema to Media Justice

Third Cinema, Third World Women

The essay "Towards a Third Cinema" describes a method of producing and distributing film that can be said to "create films of decolonisation". Getino and Solanas, directors of the film "Hora de los Hornos" (Hour of the Furnaces) use the form of a manifesto to propose a filmmaking movement, saying "Third cinema is, in our opinion, the cinema that recognises 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 decolonisation of culture." Their goal is to bring film makers into "a worldwide liberation movement whose moving force is to be found in the Third World countries." They contrast "US imperialism and the film model that is imposed: Hollywood movies" with documentary films aimed at bringing about "the revolution".

In their Media Packet for the Take Back the Media Documentation Training, the Third World Majority authors state

We must strive to not perpetuate and replicate the legacies that film, video and photography have established against communities of color within the United States, youth, peoples of the “Third World,” women and LGBT communities (e.g. surveillance, imperial anthropology, misrepresentation, etc.). At Third World Majority, we believe in creating media structures of self-determination where we control and dictate how we represent ourselves and tell our stories whether it is in the Mainstream Media, a local community radio station, or in our own Sisterfire produced media pieces.

The document describes a tour, which is being organized around the primary goal of "women of color organizers working to end systemic violence against women through the use and power of our cultural tools." As such, one can see that the goal of Third Cinema, to build a movement to end the violence aimed against the people of the Third World, is continued by Third World Majority, but in a form centered on women of color. The formation "women of color" shifts the understanding of neocolonialism to be not simply geographically centered in countries described as the Third World, but to also include migrants and people in diaspora from the global south, regardless of their location in a neocolonial power, such as the US. Additionally, Third World Majority describes their goals as including justice for youth and LGBT communities, which were not part of the considerations of the formation of Third Cinema. By looking at the changes in the language through which political goals are described and stories are told, from a struggle between nations to an distributed practice of liberation, one can understand how the movements of the late 1960s have influenced the media justice movement of the last two decades. These changes can be seen as a result of changing understandings of the location of political agency and action, as affected by poststructuralism and globalization, two factors deeply intertwined with the form of digital media and its distribution. 

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