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Cinephilia and Colonialist Cinema

As I noted on Twitter, I was taken aback by the odd phrasing, to put it mildly, of one of Filmstruck's latest series:

So much is wrong in this of course, from the "right to rule" business to the insidious passive voice. Most charitably, I might chalk it up to a Filmstruck employee being tone deaf in writing up a blurb for a not quite coherent series.

But this raises a question that I think is broader than this instance: why do nominal attempts at including cinema of the global south sometimes end up highlighting colonialist cinema (or critiques of colonialism from within the colonizer)? I think there are two intersecting reasons.

First, film libraries run by major distribution companies have historically prioritized Hollywood and (secondarily) European cinema. So when Netflix tries to list African films, many are in fact US films about Africa. I suspect Filmstruck is in a similar situation, in which its film library features many more US and European films about colonia…

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