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date: 21 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

One of the main aims of contemporary world cinema is to bear witness and to make a celluloid record of disappearing forms of human life or communities that are being destroyed by global capitalist modernization so that such cultures can be preserved in posterity for the gaze of the world. This chapter examines the problematic politics of representation of commodified world cinema and critical approaches to world cinema, arguing that both are based on a spatialized understanding of the world (following Heidegger's thesis of the becoming-picture of the world) that leads to a conflation of the world with the globe and the obscuring of the normative dimension of the world. This chapter argues that Jia Zhangke’s Still Life exemplifies a different kind of world cinema that explores the normative character of the world by thematizing how worldliness is destroyed by globalization even as it points to unexpected resources in globalization processes that can give rise to other worlds within destruction.

Keywords: world cinema, globalization, alienation, Three Gorges Dam, capitalist modernity, sociality, worldliness, spatialization, Heidegger, world-picture

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