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Documenting CityscapesUrban Change in Contemporary Non-Fiction Film$
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Iván Villarmea Álvarez

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231174534

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231174534.001.0001

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Cinema as Agent of Urban Change

Cinema as Agent of Urban Change

(p.213) Conclusion Cinema as Agent of Urban Change
Documenting Cityscapes

Iván Villarmea Álvarez

Columbia University Press

This concluding chapter argues that many non-fiction films are agents of urban change, because they ultimately convey a critical perception of late-capitalist urban planning in order to draw the audience's attention to the policies that filmmakers want to challenge, question, or even change. Accordingly, the politics of representation in current urban documentaries have evolved into a politics of place-making and sense-making, which simultaneously delve into the past of cities and shape their future. Because of the key role places of memory play in the process of identity building, and because of the recent shift in social sciences and humanities from an objective paradigm to a subjective one, the triad formed by cinematic cityscapes, memoryscapes, and mindscapes allows filmmakers to express different subjectivities at once, thereby combining several perspectives in narratives that usually extend from the present to the past, even when they take place in an apparently synchronic present.

Keywords:   non-fiction films, urban change, urban planning, urban documentaries, places of memory, identity building

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