Standard Article

Film and migration: globalization of national cinema

Migration A–Z

F

  1. Valentina Vitali

Published Online: 4 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781444351071.wbeghm597

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

How to Cite

Vitali, V. 2013. Film and migration: globalization of national cinema. The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 FEB 2013

Abstract

Migration poses interesting challenges to ideas of national cinema. At the start of cinema the nationality of a film production company, of the films it made, and of their directors was not pertinent. The films of French companies Meliès, Gaumont, and Pathé circulated in the United States and elsewhere as indistinguishable from local produce. As Richard Abel 1999) has shown, “Frenchness” was foisted upon their films by US competitors as the latter sought to monopolize the market by defining it as a “national” one. If one implication of this is that there was a film industry in many countries well before there was a “national cinema,” here it is important to emphasize that the movement of people across film industries of different countries is, in cinema, the rule, not the exception. In recent years, co-productions between two or more countries have led to the appearance of terms like “transnational cinema,” but the meaning of this and similar phrases vary greatly depending on the priorities of the particular historian who happens to use them. They can be misleading terms because their use can suppress the fact that films and their makers have moved across national borders since there was such a thing as cinema.

Keywords:

  • globalization;
  • cross-cultural;
  • immigration;
  • transnationalism;
  • political economy