Cinematic diplomacy and the Exotic Other in the Film Tanna: Implications for Bilateral Relations and Tourism

Joseph Martin Cheer, Irina Veronika Herrschner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The term the exotic other is invoked in this paper via the 2016 film, iTanna/i (Bentley Dean and Martin Butler). Set in the South Pacific nation Vanuatu, iTanna/i is an emblematic rendering of the exotic other through ethnography-inspired film. Film and narrative analysis is a fundamental method used to scrutinise and ponder the discernible and latent discourses evident and this is leveraged through the theoretical framework of cultural diplomacy. Cultural diplomacy has its genesis in its utility as a tool for foreign policy and the promotion of a nation's strategic interests abroad. Cinematic diplomacy underlines the link between film and the representations of people and place and can be considered a subset of cultural diplomacy in that it mobilises and delivers film for diplomatic and bilateral relationship-building purposes. iTanna/i raises multiple issues including ascertaining the extent to whether essentialising the other 'glamorises primitivity' and if so, what mitigates against this.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-218
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Tourism Anthropology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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