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World cinema (Topic)

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World cinema is not the sum-total of all films made around the world. Its use is analogous to the use of the term "world literature". Goethe used the concept of Weltliteratur (world literature) in several of his essays in the early decades of the nineteenth century to describe the international circulation and reception of literary works in Europe, including works of non-Western origin. An interest in "world cinema" suggests an awareness of high-quality films made outside the Hollywood studio system which dominates international viewership. However, some people use the term to refer to the film and film industries of non-English-speaking countries in English-speaking countries. Equating the dominant form of cinema with the dominant language (English) can be inherently problematic. There are many countries such as Canada, England, South Africa and even Asian countries like India, where films are made in English but they are part of "world cinema" due to their marginal status in terms of access or viewership. It can be argued that an understanding of "world cinema" centering around Hollywood cinema suggests a Eurocentric view. "World cinema" is often used interchangeably with the term foreign film. "Foreign" is also a relative term, suggesting a Western viewpoint. One person's national cinema can be another person's foreign film. In fact, American independent cinema may be considered part of "world cinema" as it does not have adequate access.

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