Cinemas of Citizens and Cinemas of Sentiment: World Cinema in Flux

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Rather than suffer the ongoing dominance of critical and theoretical frameworks for understanding world cinemas that cannot keep pace with technological innovation, political change, the movement of people and the networks they inhabit, this essay establishes the concept of cinemas of citizens and cinemas of sentiment in order to embrace the present continuous tense of world cinema and map its real-time ongoing evolution. Following the political scientist Georg Sorenson, this theorisation posits that the cinema of citizens will be one of close links between government and the film industry, established and maintained by policies, quotas, incentives, funding and protectionism, while the cinema of sentiment is partly a response to the oscillation, fracture and diffusion of citizenship, which is transferred from nationhood to personhood in a context of flux instead of rigidity. As this chapter argues in relation to various examples, this new understanding and theorisation of the context and function of world cinemas permits the transfer of social values from the cinema of citizens to the cinema of sentiment, which is enabled not by limiting ‘belonging’ but by representing an analytically competent nation, people and cinema, one that is able to rethink collective and individual identity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Companion to World Cinema
EditorsRob Stone, Paul Cooke, Stephanie Dennison, Alex Marlow-Mann
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781315688251
ISBN (Print)1138918806, 9781138918801, 9780367581077
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2017


  • World cinema
  • Community
  • Filmmaking
  • Film Theory
  • Film History
  • Contemporary Film


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