Third Cinema

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Third Cinema (Spanish: Tercer Cine) is a Latin American film movement that started in the 1960s-70s which decries neocolonialism, the capitalist system, and the Hollywood model of cinema as mere entertainment to make money. The term was coined in the manifesto Towards a Third Cinema, written in the late 1960s by Argentine filmmakers Fernando Solanas and Octavio Getino, members of the Grupo Cine Liberación. Published in 1969 in the cinema journal Tricontinental by the OSPAAAL (Organization of Solidarity with the People of Asia, Africa and Latin America [1]), Towards a Third Cinema started with a quote by anti-colonialist writer Frantz Fanon: ""...we must discuss, we must invent..."


Solanas and Getino's manifesto considers 'First Cinema' to be the Hollywood production model that promulgates bourgeois values to a passive audience through escapist spectacle and individual characters. 'Second Cinema' is the European art film, which rejects Hollywood conventions but is centred on the individual expression of the auteur director. Third Cinema rejects the view of cinema as a vehicle for personal expression, seeing the director instead as part of a collective; it appeals to the masses by presenting the truth and inspiring revolutionary activism. Solanas and Getino argue that traditional exhibition models also need to be avoided: the films should be screened clandestinely, both in order to avoid censorship and commercial networks, but also so that the viewer must take a risk to see them.[2]


Beside the Argentine Grupo Cine Liberación, Third Cinema includes Raymundo Gleyzer's Cine de la Base, the Brazilian Cinema Nôvo, the Cuban revolutionary cinema and the Bolivian film director Jorge Sanjinés.[3]

Brazilian political filmmaker Glauber Rocha began to denounce Cinema Novo, Neorealism, and the Nouvelle Vague's influences and declared that the Third World revolution would overturn not only Hollywood but also European auteurism. This included the work of Sergei Eisenstein, Jean-Luc Godard, and Roberto Rossellini. He echoed the views in the manifestos "imperfect cinema" and "Third Cinema" to support his ideas.

First generation African filmmaker Med Hondo became one of the strongest advocates for Africa's version of Third Cinema. He was a forceful supporter of African films reflecting popular political struggles and cultural differences. Hondo and his supporters continued this unique approach to African political filmmaking through the 1970s.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Octavio Getino; Some notes on the concept of a "Third Cinema" in Martin, Michael T. New latin American Cinema vol.1 Wayne State University Press, Detroit 1997 ] (English)
  2. ^ David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson, Film History: An Introduction, 2nd edtn. (McGraw-Hill, 2003), 545.
  3. ^ Oscar Ranzani, La revolución es un sueño eterno, Pagina 12, 20 October 2004 (Spanish)
  4. ^ Thompson, Kristin, Bordwell,David. (2010)"Film History: An Introduction, Third Edition". New York, NY: The McGraw-Hill Companies. p. 438,505

Further reading[edit]

  • Wayne, Mike Political Film:The Dialectics of Third Cinema. Pluto Press, 2001.
  • Fernando Solanas and Octavio Getino, "Towards a Third Cinema" in: Movies and Methods. An Anthology, edited by Bill Nichols, Berkeley: University of California Press 1976, pp 44–64

External links[edit]