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Film and Politics in the Lusophone World (1960s—1970s)

  • Author(s): Cordeiro da Silva Dias, Ines
  • Advisor(s): Johnson, Randal
  • et al.
Abstract

In my dissertation I analyze how politics and film interact in Lusophone (i.e., Portuguese- speaking) countries in Europe (Portugal), South America (Brazil) and Africa (Mozambique and Angola) between the 1950s and the 1980s. During this period the countries in question were undergoing significant political changes, and film was an important medium used in the process of transformation. Portugal went from a fascist dictatorship to a democracy in 1974, Angola and Mozambique became independent in 1975, and Brazil became a military dictatorship in 1964. One of the purposes of my study is to explore and contrast the film-related policies in effect under different governments.

In the case of Portugal, fascist colonialism used film as a form of propaganda to support its occupation of Mozambique, Angola, Cabo Verde and Guinea-Bissau. With the 1974 April revolution that ended the dictatorship, film was used to advance the democratic values of the revolution. The previously mentioned African countries, especially Angola and Mozambique, used Third Cinema as a counter-discourse to Portuguese propaganda, showing in a series of documentaries how their struggle for independence was legitimate. In the case of Brazil, directors of Cinema Novo criticized neocolonialism in Brazil; the movement began in the late fifties, but underwent through significant changes when a military coup established a dictatorship that would last until 1985.

In spite of the extensive common ground among the diverse Lusophone countries, very few studies have thus far used a transatlantic approach. I start from Gilroy’s conception of the Atlantic Ocean as a space of cultural exchange, and from Shu Mei Shih and Fran?oise Lionnet’s notion of minor transnationalism to explore such issues.

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