09 April 2018

Two Books on Third World Cinema

Any discussion of Third World films should begin with definition of the concept of the Third World. Roy Armes in Third World Film Making and the West (University of California Press, 1987), defines Third World countries as those once colonized nations that are still underdeveloped because of their economic exploitation by the West. This, I assume, accounts for the rather strange title of this book since the emphasis here is given to the relationship between Third World filmmaking in particular, and the West in general. Yet, I did not find that this emphasis was reflected in the writing. And for good reason, since the primary concern of a Third World filmmaker is not his relationship to the West (although this may be one of his concerns) but his country and his people. It seems to me that the title points to an uneasiness that Roy Armes feels in writing about this subject. It is hard to pinpoint why he feels so uneasy.