genç sinema / yedinci sanat
“We reject the commercial and commodified form of cinema, just as we reject the societal order that produces such a cinema. Neither this form, nor this order, enables humanity to realise itself.” A year prior to Solanas and Getino’s “Towards A Third Cinema” (1969), a group of radical Turkish filmmakers and writers declared this in their new journal, Young Cinema: The Revolutionary Film Journal. Young Cinema believed that Turkey’s national moment corresponded to a historical turning point that needed a new cinema of ideological transformation. They prioritised guerrilla documentary and archiving work, using their journal as a dissemination platform. As Turkey’s labour and student groups grew steadily more effective, the Young Sinema group recorded, via hand-held camera, strikes, demos and marches.
After the counter-revolutionary 1971 “coup by memorandum”, a different kind of film journal emerged. Still socialist in its view, Yedinci Sanat (The Seventh Art) ran from1973–1975, reporting on the new French, Latin American, Arab, Iranian, African and Chinese cinemas. But Yedinci Sanat’s approach also marked the Turkish left’s turn from guerrilla film practice towards case studying “national cinemas”: both complementing the anti-colonial nationalist energies of the period, and marking a turn away from its past vision of cinema as the aid of international class struggle. In discussing these two contiguous yet different journals, this paper will trace how the Third Cinema movement was interpreted and adopted by the changing Turkish left of the late sixties and early seventies.
Sarah Jilani is an AHRC-Newton Trust PhD candidate at the Faculty of English, University of Cambridge, researching the relationship between subjectivity and neocolonialism in post-independence African and South Asian film and literatures. Her articles and reviews have appeared in Literature/Film Quarterly, Women: A Cultural Review, and Life Writing, and she has written on film, literature […]