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    Dominicana On Line - El Portal de la República Dominicana

    The industry of the cinema in Dominican Republic

    28 years after the historical projection of the Lumière brothers, film activity began in the Dominican Republic with La aparición de Nuestra Señora de La Altagracia by Francisco Palau (1923). However, due to the political tyranny that ruled the country for 31 years, it was not until the sixties that the Dominican film tradition truly began.

    This tradition has slowly been constructed in spite of economic difficulty, an always significant obstacle that is not favorable to a collective art that demands a sizable amount of financial resources as well as a harmonious development of artistic and technical specialties.

    Preoccupations with social, political and "identity" order have dominated Dominican film. Illegal journeys, the American dream, political oppression or the grandeur of festive elements that Dominicans can always enjoy in themselves and their culture (merengue, happiness, the "abilidad" or gift of improvising temporary solutions to permanent problems) constitute the thematic nucleus of key Dominican film. Movies such as Pasaje de ida, Nuebayol, Caña Brava, Perica ripiao, Cuatro hombres y un ataúd, La silla¸ Negocios son negocios, or el Poder del Jefe each are examples of these themes.

    The weight of morality, or rather, the necessity to express certain messages coupled with a weak command of the use of cinematographic and fictional language, has made Dominican film more useful for its value as a visual and social document than for its artistic value.

    We must highlight, in addition, the natural influence of theatre and television. Playwrights, theatrical actors, comedians and television program producers have naturally determined the virtues and defects of an activity that, at the local level, is just beginning to acquire a certain level of independence and professionalism.

    Productions of members of the Dominican diaspora, the proliferation of film festivals (Muestra Internacional de Cine Santo Domingo, el Festival Internacional de Cine de Santo Domingo and el Festival de Cine FUNGLODE), the rise of film showings by the Cinemateca Nacional and by other cultural entities, the creation of the National Film Directorate and the strengthening of specialized educational programs are helping to give a more consistent character to Dominican film.

    María Montés, "the Queen of Technicolor," is the national figure that has reached the greatest recognition in the realm of international film.











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