America 's The Global Movie Scene

Decent Essays

For generations, Hollywood has dominated the global movie scene. In many countries American films capture up to 90 percent of the market (Campbell 201). Cultural studies is in fact the study of the ways in which culture is constructed and organized and the ways in which it evolves and changes over time. More recently, as globalization has started to intensify, and the United States government has been actively promoting free trade agendas and trade on cultural products, which led Hollywood into becoming a world-wide cultural source. As the foreign film market in the US continues to shrink, American distributors play increasingly larger roles as cultural gate-keepers. However, there has been controversies over the way Hollywood portrays other countries, their people, and cultures, especially Hollywood’s portrayal of Africa, Middle East, and Asia. Internet Movie Database suggests that they are roughly 1,367 films that mention the African continent. The problem is not about the mention of the continent, but about how the continent is constantly portrayed. The controversies around media images and themes depicting the way in which the ‘developing’ world is portrayed, have been going on since the mid-1970s (Cohen, 2001, in Manzo, 2006).
Mary Ellen Higgins, in her book Hollywood’s Africa after 1994, investigated Hollywood’s Colonial film legacy in the post-apartheid era, and contemplates what has changed in the west’s representation of Africa. Barbara Ransby, professor of African

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