Show me a European film and I'll watch it: LETTER

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MAJOR reason for the massive shift in audiences in favour of American rather than European films ("US rules Europe's screens", 26 February) is that the current generation of young movie-goers was brought up on a diet of pop videos and computer games, with their emphasis on inanity and crash- bang-wallop rather than wit and reflection. This cannot be changed overnight.

A contributory reason, however, is Hollywood's stranglehold over distribution. Save in a few cities and big towns, European films are seldom screened so that most people simply have no opportunity to see them. More worryingly, there seems to be a trend for acclaimed European films not to be distributed in Britain at all: we are still awaiting, for example, Gianni Amelio's Lamerica, Eric Rohmer's L'Arbre, le Maire, et la Mediatheque, and Jacques Rivette's Jeanne la Pucelle. Lamerica was screened at the London Film Festival, but I purposely did not see it on the not unreasonable assumption that a topical, award-winning film would be snapped up by a distributor.

I am not concerned about a film's country of origin. All I ask is that we are given the opportunity to see all good films, from whatever source, and there is something seriously wrong if the system cannot provide them.

Alan Pavelin

Chislehurst, Kent