Historically, African cinema and Afro-American cinema can and should be located within the same social space of the Third Cinema-Third World Cinema. In broad terms, however, the former can be characterized by the search for and interrogation of origins, while the latter can be defined by its fight for positions and identity. African cinema seeks to establish methods and systems of production, distribution, and viewing, while Afro-American cinema is produced within diverse political and cultural national contexts. Afro-American cinema is situated within a particular national culture, albeit one governed by complex and nuanced historical, social, and economic factors. The movement of historical events is the primary--although not the only--preoccupation of African cinema, while the examination of social mechanisms is central to Afro-American cinema. In both cinemas, however, oppression, liberation, struggle, and hope inform thematic structures and references.