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Postcolonial and Transnational Approaches to Film and Feminism

Ponzanesi, Sandra

The chapter summarizes the complexities of categorizing postcolonial feminist filmmaking in either a chronological or a consistent geographical pattern. They demonstrate that the postcolonial as an optic can be applied to the dialogue between the political and the aesthetic in different ways. It is an approach that does not just privilege the issue of women behind the camera, or their representation on screen, but interrogates the visual language used, and the innovations introduced, that can also be used to reflect on productions of the past and how they speak to the present through a postcolonial awareness and deconstructive gaze.

Identifying new visual registers that are not colonizing is important in order to account for how race, ethnicity, class, religion, and sexual desires can be articulated from new vantage points without losing the connection to different filmic traditions and political realities. Yet postcolonial approaches to film and feminism also signal the need to widen the palette by stretching the postcolonial optic to films that are made across a wider spectrum than the strictly postcolonial temporalities but that corroborate the understanding of patterns of domination and resistance linked to colonial and neocolonial dynamics, reading against the grain, and offering space for feminist interventions.

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