First Nation Cinema: Hollywood's Indigenous 'other'

Jane Mills

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Abstract

This paper challenges the paradigm whereby Hollywood and First Nation cinema are perceived to occupy two opposed spaces within the global screenscape. It proposes analysing intercinematic relations within the critical framework of global cultural flows. This reveals the existence of porous borders, creative tensions and hybridising processes in a transnational screencape.First Nation films have been ascribed a succession of designations which often present an homogenous cinema in political and aesthetic opposition to the globally dominant cinema. Through the prism of some of these labels I examine where Hollywood is imagined to be located in relation to its indigenous 'other'. I look at what is valuable about designations such as 'minor', 'third world', 'accented' and 'intercultural', and I examine their limitations. My argument is that Hollywood's hegemonic power is by no means diminished by the creative tensions that exist in intercinematic relationships. But nor is it a one-way process in which indigenous cinemas are crushed, contained or cannibalised by Hollywood. With some close textual readings of films including Beneath Clouds (Ivan Sen, 2002), I show Hollywood is not necessarily the threat it is commonly perceived to be, and First Nation cinemas possess greater diversity than is widely imagined.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalScreening the Past
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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