Date of Original Version

2009

Type

Article

Rights Management

Copyright LIT Verlag

Abstract or Description

Short and documentary films from Latin America received wide international attention during the 1950s-1970s. Their critical legitimation came especially via a number of film festivals in the region. These included the SODRE (Uruguay, 1954); Viña del Mar (Chile, 1967), which centered its attention on film vanguards in Latin America; Mérida (Venezuela, 1968), which prioritized documentary films; and La Habana (Cuba, 1979 and thereafter). Much of the attention and acclaim achieved by the films followed the premiere screening of Fernando Solanas and Orlando Getino’s monumental La hora de los hornos (The Hour of the Furnaces) in Mérida, and was tied to manifestos and documents written by Solanas and Getino themselves, along with those by Glauber Rocha in Brazil, Jorge Sanjinés in Bolivia, Julio García Espinosa in Cuba, and others. At the regional level the ripples of the Cuban Revolution and the tumultuous youth and student protests occurring in Paris, Mexico City and several Western cities after 1968 resulted in a polarized political climate. The times were inflamed by violent social confrontations, the multiplication of regional foci of conflict, and a world-wide movement toward decolonization spearheaded by some of the so-called “Third-world countries.” When the common vision of a new “continental project” in cinema erupted (Pick), it stated an explicit intention to use the camera as a rifle and the projector as a gun, weapons for a “film-guerrilla” capable of participating in the global process of decolonization and liberation (Solanas and Getino, “Third” 34).

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Published In

Rethinking Third Cinema: The Role of Anti-colonial Media and Aesthetics in Postmodernity; Frieda Ekotto, Adeline Koh (Eds.), 53-80.