Crossover Film: Diasporic and Inter-Cultural Cinema


The dislocating effects of globalization, such as migrating culture, are a subtext to diasporic cinema (Film Reference 2016). Diasporic cinema often represents themes related to this, Naficy regarding it as an “aesthetic response to displacement” and the plights of ‘affected’ social minorities and marginalised groups (Berghahn 2006, p. 141). For instance, Tefvik Baser’s films such as Farewell to a False Paradise depict the plight of Turkish women under Muslim patriarchy in Germany. Hence, the multicultural integration that occurs can emphasise the difference between liberal western culture and oppressive patriarchal cultures (2006, p. 142). Diasporic cinema also frequently represents themes that address cultural and self-belonging.


Fatih Akin’s prominent German-Turkish films frequently represent “experiences of rootlessness, of culture clash and of living…in two worlds” (Berghahn 2006, p. 143). Naficy identifies this dual consciousness in diasporic/accented cinema to identify deep desire for one’s homeland as a recurring theme. Increased mobility and globalisation has developed this into a need for spatial stability, ‘roots’, and belonging. However frequently, for example in Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta, the protagonist does not gain a secure cultural ‘roots’ but instead adopts a transnational, hybridised self/cultural identification.

Diasporic cinema frequently utilises many different techniques to achieve this expression of themes. In his paper, Prequel identifies diasporic films as linguistically or culturally inconsistent, being multivocal and multilingual (Naficy 2001). This fluidity means that diasporic cinema can blend themes of identity and cultural references “from a mix of cultural and cinematic traditions sampled from Hollywood, Europe and ‘the Orient’…” (Berghahn 2006, p. 144). Thus, the expressed multi-cultural identity themes are made easily relatable and understandable due to their popular format.




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