‘This would be scary to any other culture … but to us it’s so cute!’ The radicalism of Fourth Cinema from Tangata Whenua to Angry Inuk

Vanstone, Gail and Winston, Brian (2019) ‘This would be scary to any other culture … but to us it’s so cute!’ The radicalism of Fourth Cinema from Tangata Whenua to Angry Inuk. Studies in Documentary Film, 13 (3). pp. 233-249. ISSN 1750-3280

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/17503280.2019.1672919

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‘This would be scary to any other culture … but to us it’s so cute!’ The radicalism of Fourth Cinema from Tangata Whenua to Angry Inuk
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Abstract

Articulating the concept of a Fourth Cinema, Maori filmmaker, Barry Barclay highlighted its intrinsic radical possibilities for Indigenous documentary production. Departing from Solanas and Getino’s Third Cinema theory, Barclay argues ‘that some Indigenous film artists will be interested in shaping films that sit with confidence within the First, Second and Third cinema framework’. To take this view of documentary work by Indigenous filmmakers living in geographic territories where mainstream documentary was most influenced by John Grierson’s interventions and legacy – Canada, New Zealand and Australia – recognises their presence in documentary’s radical tradition. Fourth Cinema documentaries of seemingly unchallenging ‘exteriority’ (i.e. with ‘surface features: rituals, language, posturing, décor, the use of elders, the presence of children, attitudes to land, rituals of a spirit world) are repositioned by the concept. When viewed through the ‘right pair of [Indigenous] spectacles’, their ‘interiority’ (i.e. ‘the ancient core values’ ‘outside the national orthodoxy’) is revealed. Fourth Cinema documentaries are thus not only radical when ‘documenting injustices and claiming reparations’ (Ginsburg). They also sit firmly within documentary’s radical tradition by celebrating the Indigenous – ‘making records of the lives and knowledge of elders’ (Ginsburg) offering valuable knowledge to Indigenous and settler eyes.

Keywords:Third Cinema, Fourth Cinema, documentary film, radical film, Indigeneity, ‘Indianess’, settler education, ‘loving Indianess’
Subjects:P Mass Communications and Documentation > P303 Film studies
Divisions:College of Arts > Lincoln School of Film & Media > Lincoln School of Film & Media (Media)
ID Code:43852
Deposited On:29 Jan 2021 16:25

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