Our regular contributor. Zajc is a media anthropologist and philosopher.
SUDAN: Exploring the importance of cinema for democracy.

Talking About Trees portrays four senior film directors in their struggle to revive traditional cinema in Sudan and, at the same time, presents an interesting question about the importance of cinema for democracy.

Walter Benjamin embraced cinema at its very beginning as the most democratic form of art. In his essay The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, he claimed that only educated elite can enjoy traditional art, while anyone can enjoy the films of Charlie Chaplin. His idea was quickly forgotten, at first because cinema was considered too populist to be relevant for democracy, T. W. Adorno even considered it dangerous for democracy. Nowadays, celluloid film is . . .

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