Gathering a nation

The Cinema.

“The cinema’s institutional ritual of gathering a community – spectators who share a region, language, culture – homologizes, in a sense, the symbolic gathering of a nation. ” – The Imperial Imaginary (p.119)

I agree with the statement, except for the subtle fact that cinema-goers in many communities may share a region, but not a language or culture. Apart from that subtle fact,  I think the point stands. We go to the cinema as individuals (or groups of individuals who are friends). We may not have much in common with the people sitting next to us, apart from the fact that we share the same zip code. However, we watch a movie like Amistad, and we all leave the cinema with the same feelings: “Transatlantic slave trade was an atrocity.”

A more personal example: after watching The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (a poignant, provoking yet simple film about the Holocaust–WATCH IT IF YOU CAN!!!) last semester, I can remember the lights in the cinema coming on while the credits were rolling. Continue reading