Saturday, March 12, 2016


IN case you're getting sick of Hollywood movies—especially those films with zero premium on storytelling and humongous largesse on hi-tech pomp, and wondering why you don't get to peruse choices from cinematic efforts from other countries/cultures, there's reason why. Or at least, I can cite one. On October 20, 2005, the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) adopted a treaty—by a vote of 148-2 (4 abstentions)--that legitimates domestic legal measures aimed at the protection of local producers of cultural activities, goods and services. Opposed by the United States and Israel, the Convention represents a major diplomatic victory for Canada and France—its principal proponents—and a major blow to Hollywood and the US, audiovisual products being among America's most lucrative exports. Both Canada and France, like many countries around the world, have long maintained a range of cultural protectionist measures aimed at stemming the dominance of US media—notably, Hollywood films—in their domestic markets.

       The Convention has been attacked as vague and susceptible to abuse, however, by US officials arguing that it could serve as a pretext for infringements of speech and related human rights, and that it could destabilize the international trading system. Repeat, “trading system.” Trade obligations (or liberalization) are a major trade policy goal of Washington via the WTO system. Kinda complex, you dig? But with that, we know why—if Hollywood's One Percent wouldn't allow “other movies” to enjoy equal footing with the Weinstein Brothers, Comcast or Time Warner why would they allow them in the mainland? Anyhow, as long as they keep Michael Bay's gigs to a low, I don't have any issues. I am sharing some infos.

[ADD reading: “Culture, Sovereignty, and Hollywood: UNESCO and the Future of Trade in Cultural Products” by Christopher M. Bruner, New York University Journal of International Law and Politics, Vol. 40, No. 2, 2008]

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