The history of film has always been accompanied by a theoretical debate over its artistic potential. In the works of many theoreticians, more or less explicit anthropological speculations have played a significant role, focusing on the relation between cinema and formerly dominant modes of perception and living. Against this background, this paper addresses the position of film within the arts, and thus also the position of this art form vis-à-vis the role of art in relation to the human condition. One essential characteristic of films is that they are capable of bringing their audience into a specific state of being moved by what makes them move. Films have the potential to articulate an attitude of active passivity, which neither the other arts nor philosophy can mobilize in the same way.

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