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Having seen the film Brave Heart by Mel Gibson I was greatly inspired to discuss the issues brought up by Anthony Smith in his essay entitled Cinema art and national identity in the light of this film Smiths argument is that in paintings historical views of a nation convey a variety of meanings and emotions when put within a frame Film too performs this task however allowing the expansion of boundaries within which these meanings and emotions could be conveyed Smith also divides the qualities of national identity within an artistic production in this case film As I discussed these divisions I cited examples from the film by Mel Gibson to clarify my argument In the section Historicism and Nationalism Anthony Smith begins with a quote by Robert Rosenblum in which he explains how in todays movies a restricted selection of narrative themes are shown through a wide variety of environments like for example the Renaissance period Ancient Greece and Rome the Empire age and many more Such films Rosenblum argues directly or indirectly reflect the 18th century combination of an easily communicable emotion and a search for the appurtenances of historical truth Anthony Smith continues by saying that this approach allowed for the retrospection of a dead past in a new historical epoch of the citizen-nation occurring with the emergence of nationalism and capitalism Modernists such as Ernest Gelher Eric Hobsbawm Benedict Anderson and Elie Kedourie all believed that the idea of a nation is both recent and novel and besides this it is also the product of modernity and of modern thinking which creates and disseminates the historical myths of nationhood However Smith argues that what modernists fail to recognize is the analysis of the content and the tone of the nationalist message Besides being addressed to the elite these messages also address moral will strong emotions and collective memories of the masses The artists task he continues is to rediscover pre-existing
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