Irish Intercultural Cinema: Memory, Identity and Subjectivity
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Murray, Enda Vincent
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Irish intercultural cinema looks at the development of a cinematic genre which focuses on issues of Irish migrancy but is produced outside of Ireland. This paper has as its focus the cultural landscape of Irish-Australia. The essay uses methodologies of ethnographic and documentary theory plus textual analysis of film and written texts to establish a throughline of Irish intercultural film. The essay begins by contextualising the place of the Irish diaspora within the creation of Irish identity globally. The discussion around migrancy is widened to consider the place of memory and intergenerational tensions within not just the Irish migrant population, but also within the diverse cultures which comprise the contemporary Australian landscape. The historical development of intercultural cinema is then explored internationally within a context of colonial, gender and class struggles in the 1970s and1980s. The term intercultural cinema has its origins in the Third Cinema of Argentinians Solanas and Getino in the 1970s and covers those films which deal with issues involving two countries or cultures. The term was refined by Laura Marks in 2000 and further developed by Hamid Naficy in 2001 in his discussion of accented cinema which narrows its definition to include the politics of production. The paper then traces the development of Irish intercultural cinema from its beginnings in England in the 1970s with Thaddeus O'Sullivan through to Nicola Bruce and others including Enda Murray in the present day. The essay concludes by bringing these various strands together to see where intercultural film might have a place in today's globalised cultural landscape. Common traits within intercultural film such as the notion of place, autobiographical film and personal identity are explored using examples of intercultural filmmaking from around the globe. These commonalities point to a way forward for the future of a sustainable multicultural film culture. Keywords: Autobiographical films; Documentary; Memory; Subjectivity; Identity; Multiculturalism