News on film : cinematic historiography in Cuba and Brazil



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This dissertation is a comparative project that traces the co-evolution of film realism and communications media in Cuba and Brazil. Beginning with the end of Italian Neorealist-inspired movements in both countries in the late 1950s, I examine the ways in which filmmakers from each tradition incorporate radio, print, and televisual journalism into their cinematic narratives. Foundational directors whose bodies of work span and connect the popular filmmaking booms of the 1960s and 1990s—such as Santiago Álvarez, Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, Nelson Pereira dos Santos and Eduardo Coutinho—expose the political and technological systems that form public knowledge and guide civic debate. My research dilates on two internationally celebrated periods of film production concurrent with two shifts in news media paradigms: from radio and print journalism to television and from television to the internet. I argue that the renewed interest in news technologies within Cuban and Brazilian films at the beginning of the twenty-first century orients the viewer not to material fact as it is captured on film or coded by digital cameras, but by laying bare the systems of power that control news media content.