Migrant and Diasporic Cinema in Contemporary Europe

Migrant and Diasporic Cinema in Contemporary Europe


Intercultural cinema

Language: English

Intercultural cinema is a term proposed by Laura Marks in her book The Skin of the Film which, as she argues, is less 'loaded' than related and competing terms such as 'hybrid', 'postcolonial', 'marginal', 'antiracist', 'interstitial' or 'Third' cinema. The term 'intercultural cinema' highlights the fact that a film 'is not the property of any single culture, but mediates in at least two directions. It accounts for the encounter between different cultural organizations of knowledge, which is one of the sources of intercultural cinema's synthesis of new forms of expression and new kinds of knowledge' (Marks 2000: 6-7). One of the weaknesses of the term is that it fails to draw attention to the fact that the exchange between the cultures in question is never 'a politically neutral exchange', instead it implies 'a dynamic relationship between a dominant 'host' culture and a minority culture' (Marks 2000: 7). 

The term places the emphasis on 'culture' rather than on 'nation' (as related terms such as 'transnational cinema', 'international cinema' do) because commonly the exchange is between cultures (e.g. Euro-American culture and Black, Asian or Latino culture) co-existing and mingling in one nation and not so much between different nations. Moreover, as Marks notes, ''"culture" is something that travelers bring with them more consistently than "nation"; it is the stuff that passes through national borders and transforms nations from within' (Marks 2000: 9). 



Laura U. Marks (2000), The Skin of Film: Intercultural Cinema Embodiment and the Senses, Durham and London: Duke University Press. 

Posted by Daniela Berghahn on 09 Nov 2006 • Comment on this term

Next term: Cinema of double occupancy

Previous term: British Asian Cinema

Designed by PageToScreen