Third Cinema was a term coined by Fernando Solanas and Octavio Getino, two Argentinean filmmakers, who classified the traditional or mainstream Hollywood movies as First Cinema and the European art oriented movies as Second Cinema. The Third Cinema, as explained by these two,…
The aim of the Third Cinema is to motivate the masses towards starting a revolution, with the director joining in as a part of the group. Another aspect of the Third Cinema, according to the two Argentineans, is clandestinity; the films that form part of the Third Cinema should be shown secretly so that not only is censorship and other commercial groups (both part of the mainstream cinema) avoided, but also to include a risk on the part of the viewer who decides to see them.
“The Hour of the Furnaces” is a pioneer film of the Third Cinema genre, if Third Cinema can be referred to as a genre. Directed by Fernando Solanas and Octavio Getino, “The Hour of the Furnaces” was secretly filmed in Argentina in the early 60s and with a runtime of over four hours. It serves as a very bold condemnation of the neocolonialism that has dragged the country specifically, and Latin America generally, down into the depths of economic and social colonization, first by Spain, then by the United Kingdom and finally by the United States.
The film depicts the horrors of capitalism in the “underdeveloped” country, with the bourgeoisie and the oligarchy getting richer, while the poor laborers and farmers get poorer. The directors use a very fiery and fast tempo soundtrack to help them drive their point home. The point driven home is a call for revolution, an appeal to the masses by the directors to take up arms as all non-violent means, adapted by the Peronists to bring about a change by toppling the regime that came into power by a coup against Juan Domingo Perón, had failed to do any good. In short, through this film, the directors have tried to become a part of the collective and are trying to inspire the masses into starting a revolution against the injustices that the ruling class has subjected them to through the methods of capitalism and neocolonialism.
A manifesto of change, “The Hour of the Furnaces” ...
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This specific aspect can be seen best through Ousmane Sembene’s films of “Xala I The Cure” and “Moolade.” Both of these films depict the ideals of Third Cinema and become a representation not only of film as an art and expression, but also as a way to enforce social change within the country.
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