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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton August 21, 2019

POST-SCRIPT FROM FILM STUDIES: Whose choice? Watching non-English language films in the UK

Griseldis Kirsch EMAIL logo
From the journal Multilingua


In a market dominated by Hollywood, it is easy to overlook that the number of films (and televised productions) which are not in English is actually by far greater than those in English. However, although some non-English language film industries are vast, only a comparatively small number of productions are screened outside of their country of origin. Therefore, before being translated and brought to screens for us to watch, already a filter applies, as the films are chosen by curators of film festivals or the industry. For that reason, films that are perhaps less representative but more interesting, or by a well-known director may be chosen over others that may have been more successful in their country of origin, but are made by a less-well know director or perceived to be less interesting for ‘foreign audiences’. The choice of what we watch is thus never entirely ours. Using Japan, Germany and the UK as example, I will offer some thoughts on what impact such a filter might have on the consumption, and therefore the perception, of a film outside of its country of origin and what challenges this poses for audiences and researchers.


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Published Online: 2019-08-21
Published in Print: 2019-09-25

© 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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