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Sean Carter and Klaus Dodds

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231169714

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231169714.001.0001

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Distant Others

Distant Others

(p.65) 4 Distant Others
International Politics and Film

Sean Carter

Klaus Dodds

Columbia University Press

This chapter examines the idea of the “distant other”, a term which refers to Middle Eastern, Asian, and North African societies that originates from the notion of Orientalism proposed by literary theorist Edward Said. Orientalism refers to a general patronizing Western attitude towards Middle Eastern, Asian and North African nations. According to Said, the “West” views these societies as static and undeveloped, and considers them as “others”. It analyzes the manner in which the “distant other” is represented and made to be “distant”, as well as the way in which the other speaks for him/herself, offering a critique and a parody of Western practices of distancing, othering, and moral indifference. The chapter analyzes three films that come from a range of cinematic cultures: Nicija Zemlja (No Man's Land, 2001) from Bosnia, Tears of the Sun (2003) from America, and Kurtlar Vadisi – Irak (Valley of the Wolves: Iraq, 2006) from Turkey.

Keywords:   distant other, Orientalism, Edward Said, Western practices, distancing, othering, moral indifference, No Man's Land, Tears of the Sun, Valley of the Wolves: Iraq

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