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    Gazes outside the representation: early film portrayals of the Ainu People

    Centeno Martin, Marcos Pablo (2017) Gazes outside the representation: early film portrayals of the Ainu People. Orientalia Parthenopea 17 , pp. 189-210. ISSN 1972-3598.

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    The discrimination suffered by the Ainu people in Japan contrasted with the European fascination for the Ainu culture between the late 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. In fact, the Ainu were featured among the earliest thirty-three films shot in Japan by European and North American explorers. This text deals with these earliest film representations of the Ainu people: Lumière and Pathé actualités, and the travelogues made by Frederick Starr and Benjamin Brodsky. These films are framed within their historical context and are interrogated in two different ways: understanding film as a tool for ethnographic study; and tackling the study of ethnographic film as such. A comparison between the film reality and the social reality of the Ainu people reveals how these images projected a deceptive ethnicity. They were aimed to appeal to the Western audience by means of an exotic view belonging to a time prior to the moment they were filmed. This analysis assesses the validity of ethnographic documentary as historical testimony, exploring the limits of the mise-en-scène and the premeditated mechanisms of codification on Ainu identity.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Ainu, actualités, travelogues, ethnographic film, Japanese cinema, Benjamin Brodsky.
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Creative Arts, Culture and Communication
    Depositing User: Marcos Pablo Centeno Martin
    Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2018 13:42
    Last Modified: 09 Aug 2023 12:45


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