Close-up on the Colony: Inside History, Through the Camera Lens

Megha Anwer


This paper is a close study of Gillo Pontecorvo's The Battle of Algiers and Queimada (Burn!) and Tomas Alea's Memories of Underdevelopment -- in particular, the ways in which these films explore the colonial and post-colonial experience. By focussing on the engagement with spatial and gender politics, constructions of the hero/villain dichotomy and debates on the political efficacy of violence that emerge from these films, the paper explores the language of Pontecorvo's and Alea's cinema, its thematic priorities and visual methodologies. Even while elucidating the differences in their cinematic aesthetics, it is argued that both the filmmakers share a certain kind of politics and radical/revolutionary sensibility that aligns them to and places them within the continuing traditions of the cinema of resistance.


Film Theory; Aesthetics; Cinema; Film Studies; Cultural Studies; Politics; History; Post Colonialism; Resistance

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