"Critical Political Economy and Local Cinema: An Introduction."
Cinema is an influential form of storytelling that depends on myths, capital and technology to perform sense-making and reality-building functions. In this chapter, I argue that local cinema is both important and vulnerable. As ideology is an inherent part of cinematic reality, local cinema is an important form of storytelling because it depends on and narratively reproduces myths and ideologies significantly different from and often antagonistic to those of global and national cinema. Compared to these, however, local cinema is a vulnerable form of storytelling because it cannot rely on an established apparatus and its narratives are often disruptive of established myths. While globalization and digitalization foster the commercial competitiveness of global and national cinema and the visibility of their ‘realities’, local cinema faces ‘market censorship’ and the risk of a market- driven extinction. A critical political economy of local cinema is an analytical approach that can help analysts, practitioners and educators to appreciate and support local cinema. At the end of this chapter, I present the main features of this approach and the contributions of the essays in this volume.