Exploring the Rich History of Cinema Evolution

History of cinema,Why is cinema called cinema?, How has cinema evolved over the

Have you ever wondered how cinema has transformed from its humble beginnings to the magnificent art form it is today? Delve into the fascinating journey of cinema and discover the key milestones and innovations that have shaped its evolution over the years. From the dawn of motion pictures to the advent of digital cinematography, each era has contributed to the awe-inspiring world of cinema.

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Through this article, we will unlock the secrets of cinema’s development, explore its transformative power, and unveil the remarkable stories that have captivated audiences for generations. Join us as we unravel the history of cinema, challenge common beliefs, and celebrate the enduring legacy of this extraordinary art form.

Key Takeaways:

  • Discover the origins of cinema and its fascinating journey of evolution.
  • Uncover the groundbreaking innovations that have propelled cinema’s development.
  • Explore the pivotal role of directors and their influence on the cinematic landscape.
  • Understand the impact of technological advancements on the art of storytelling.
  • Reflect on the enduring legacy of cinema and its power to captivate and inspire.

The Dawn of Motion Pictures: Eadweard Muybridge’s Innovations

Eadweard Muybridge, a pioneer in the history of cinema, made significant contributions to the development of motion pictures through his groundbreaking innovations. His experiments and advancements laid the foundation for the creation of moving images in cinema, setting the stage for the transformative power of visual storytelling.

The “Horse in Motion” Experiment

One of Muybridge’s most notable accomplishments was the “Horse in Motion” experiment. In this experiment, he captured a series of photographs of a running horse, which proved that all four hooves left the ground at full gallop. The precise and sequential nature of the images showcased the potential of capturing motion through photography, revolutionizing the way we perceive movement.

Series Photography and its Legacy

Muybridge’s experiment with the “Horse in Motion” paved the way for the development of series photography. By capturing multiple frames in rapid succession, Muybridge demonstrated the ability to create the illusion of movement. This breakthrough laid the foundation for the advancements that would later lead to the birth of cinema, forever changing the way stories are told on the silver screen.

Muybridge’s contributions to the origins of cinema are invaluable. His innovative techniques continue to influence filmmaking techniques to this day, emphasizing the significance of his work in the evolution of motion pictures.

Capturing Reality: The Advent of Photography and the Camera Obscura

Before the advent of motion pictures, photography and the camera obscura played a pivotal role in capturing reality and laying the foundation for early films. The camera obscura, a device that projected an image through a small hole, allowed for the reproduction of images in an inverted and reversed form.

With advancements in photography, the art of capturing reality grew more refined and accessible. Photographers such as Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre and William Henry Fox Talbot pioneered techniques to fix images onto light-sensitive surfaces, leading to the birth of photography as we know it today.

“Photography is truth. The cinema is truth twenty-four times per second.” – Jean-Luc Godard

Photography’s ability to freeze moments in time and faithfully reproduce the world sparked the imagination of early filmmakers. The concept of capturing reality on film evolved from the principles of photography and the camera obscura.

The emergence of early films was shaped by the desire to capture moving images and transport audiences into a different reality. Filmmakers like the Lumière Brothers and Georges Méliès built upon the foundations laid by photography and the camera obscura, exploring the creative possibilities and pushing the boundaries of the medium.

advent of photography

As we delve into the origins of cinema, understanding the pivotal role of photography and the camera obscura provides us with insights into how the art form emerged and evolved. The advent of photography revolutionized visual storytelling, paving the way for the immersive cinematic experiences we enjoy today.

Key Points Illustration
The camera obscura projected images through a small hole, enabling the reproduction of reality in an inverted and reversed form. Place image here related to early films and capturing reality.
Advancements in photography, pioneered by figures like Daguerre and Talbot, laid the foundation for capturing reality through photography.
Early filmmakers drew inspiration from the principles of photography and the camera obscura, seeking to capture moving images and transport audiences into different realities. Place image here related to early films and capturing reality.
The intersection between photography, the camera obscura, and early films offers valuable insights into the origins of cinema and its evolution.

The Lumière Brothers and the Arrival of Projected Film

The Lumière Brothers, Auguste and Louis Lumière, are renowned pioneers of the cinema industry. Their innovative contributions played a significant role in the evolution of projected film, revolutionizing the way stories were told and experienced on the big screen. The Lumière Brothers’ historic screening of “Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat” in 1895 astounded audiences and marked a milestone in film history.

The Historic Screening of “Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat”

One of the Lumière Brothers’ most memorable and influential films was “Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat.” This short film, a mere 50 seconds long, depicts a train arriving at a station. Its simple premise may seem ordinary today, but at the time, it had a profound impact on viewers. The projected images of a moving train approaching the screen created an incredibly immersive experience that left audiences amazed and even frightened. According to legend, some audience members were so captivated and convinced by the realism that they ducked or ran to the back of the theater to avoid being hit by the oncoming train.

This groundbreaking screening demonstrated the power of projected film to transport audiences into new worlds and immerse them in the magic of cinema, foreshadowing the possibilities of the medium.

From the Cinématographe to the Birth of an Industry

The Lumière Brothers’ invention, the Cinématographe, was instrumental in the birth and rapid growth of the cinema industry. This innovative device combined the functions of a camera, film projector, and printer, making it a versatile tool for capturing, projecting, and reproducing moving images. The portable and lightweight nature of the Cinématographe allowed filmmakers to venture beyond the confines of a studio, capturing real-life scenes and bringing them to the screen.

The Lumière Brothers’ Cinématographe became the foundation of commercial cinema and laid the groundwork for the emergence of a thriving film industry. Their invention not only enabled filmmakers to create and exhibit movies but also sparked the imagination of countless individuals who were inspired to explore the artistic and storytelling possibilities of the medium.

With the Lumière Brothers’ groundbreaking contributions, projected film became an influential medium that captivated audiences and ignited a global fascination with cinema.

Key Contributions of the Lumière Brothers Impact on the Cinema Industry
Invention of the Cinématographe Revolutionized the filmmaking process by combining camera, film projector, and printer functions
Screening of “Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat” Stunned audiences and laid the foundation for the immersive cinematic experience
Pioneering the idea of capturing real-life scenes Expanded the possibilities of storytelling and brought a sense of authenticity to films
Igniting the birth of the cinema industry Sparked the growth of film production, distribution, and exhibition worldwide

Cinema Origins: Embracing the Illusion of Movement

The origins of cinema can be traced back to the exploration and fascination with the illusion of movement. Early devices like the Zoetrope provided a glimpse into the possibilities of creating animated visuals. These cylindrical instruments, often adorned with intricate illustrations, contained a sequence of images on the inner surface. When spun, the Zoetrope utilized the persistence of vision to create the illusion of movement, mesmerizing viewers with its animated sequences. The Zoetrope marked an important milestone in cinema’s evolution, showcasing the potential for storytelling through moving images.

illusion of movement

As technology advanced, the art of cinematography emerged, revolutionizing the way stories were captured and presented on screen. Cinematography encompasses the techniques and processes involved in capturing, processing, and projecting motion pictures. With the introduction of cameras capable of capturing successive images rapidly and accurately, filmmakers were able to capture moments of reality and convey the illusion of movement more convincingly.

However, it was the introduction of celluloid film that truly transformed the world of cinema. Celluloid film, made from a flexible and transparent material, allowed for the recording, editing, and projection of moving images. Developed by George Eastman in the late 19th century, celluloid film became the standard medium for capturing and preserving cinematic narratives. Its flexibility and durability made it a groundbreaking invention that shaped the course of cinema history.

The integration of celluloid film into cinema opened up new possibilities for storytelling and visual expression. Filmmakers could now unravel complex narratives, experiment with different camera angles, and elicit emotional responses from audiences. The celluloid film served as the canvas upon which cinematic masterpieces were created, immortalizing moments in time and captivating generations of viewers.

In conclusion, the origins of cinema lie in the exploration and fascination with the illusion of movement. Early devices like the Zoetrope paved the way for the development of cinematography, which further enhanced the illusion of movement on screen. The introduction of celluloid film revolutionized the art of storytelling, allowing filmmakers to capture and convey narratives in a compelling and immersive manner. Understanding the role of these early devices and the significance of celluloid film in cinema evolution is crucial to appreciating the art form’s incredible journey.

The Silent Era: Actors, Icons, and the Rise of Hollywood

The silent era of cinema marked a significant period of growth and development in the film industry. During this time, actors became icons and Hollywood emerged as the center of the cinematic world. This era witnessed the rise of legendary actors and the establishment of Hollywood as a powerhouse of filmmaking. Exploring the silent era provides valuable insights into the early days of Hollywood and the foundations of the film industry as we know it today.

The silent era, also known as the “Golden Age of Silent Film,” spanned from the late 1890s to the late 1920s. It was a time when films had no synchronized sound or dialogue, relying solely on visuals, gestures, and intertitles to tell stories. Despite the absence of spoken words, silent films were a global sensation, captivating audiences with their visual storytelling and pioneering techniques.

One of the key aspects that defined the silent era was the emergence of actors as beloved icons. They had the power to captivate audiences with their expressive performances and their ability to convey emotions without uttering a single word. Silent film stars like Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and Rudolph Valentino became household names, drawing audiences to theaters and establishing the foundation for the celebrity culture that persists in Hollywood today.

Hollywood, during the silent era, became the epicenter of the film industry. The favorable weather and diverse landscapes of Southern California attracted filmmakers, and the area soon became a hub for production. Studios like Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. were established, laying the groundwork for the influential Hollywood film industry that still thrives today. The success of Hollywood in this era laid the foundation for its dominance in the global film market, shaping the city as the entertainment capital of the world.

The silent era also witnessed rapid growth and expansion in the film industry. Technological advancements such as improved cameras and projectors allowed for the production and screening of films on a larger scale. Filmmakers experimented with various storytelling techniques, creating innovative narratives and artistic visions that pushed the boundaries of cinema.

However, the silent era eventually came to an end with the introduction of sound in movies, marking a new era in the history of cinema. The transition to sound films, also known as “talkies,” revolutionized the way stories were told, leading to further advancements in filmmaking techniques.

Key Features of the Silent Era Effect on the Film Industry
Expressive performances by silent film stars Established the concept of actors as icons
Hollywood as the center of the film industry Pioneered the growth of the Hollywood film industry
Technological advancements in filmmaking techniques Expanded the scope and possibilities of storytelling

With its iconic actors, emergence of Hollywood, and rapid growth, the silent era of cinema left an indelible mark on the film industry. It was a time when films relied solely on visuals and gestures to captivate audiences, showcasing the power of visual storytelling. Exploring this era provides valuable insights into the early days of Hollywood and the foundations of the film industry as we know it today.

The Golden Age of Hollywood: Cinema’s First Heyday

The Golden Age of Hollywood stands as a testament to the pinnacle period in cinema history, characterized by iconic films, landmark achievements, and groundbreaking innovations. During this era, the movie industry witnessed the emergence of timeless classics that continue to captivate audiences to this day. From epic tales like “Gone with the Wind” and the unforgettable romance of “Casablanca,” to the visionary works of Georges Méliès, the Golden Age showcased the power of film to transport audiences to fantastical worlds and inspire boundless imagination.

Iconic Films and Landmark Achievements

The Golden Age of Hollywood gave birth to a plethora of iconic films that have become cornerstones of cinematic history. These films not only showcased exceptional storytelling and performances but also pushed the boundaries of artistic expression and technical prowess. From monumental epics like “Ben-Hur” and “The Wizard of Oz” to the timeless romance of “Roman Holiday” and the dramatic masterpiece of “Citizen Kane,” golden age films continue to resonate and astound audiences with their enduring impact.

Moreover, this period witnessed landmark achievements in various aspects of filmmaking. From the introduction of Technicolor to the advancement of special effects and production design, the Golden Age set new standards for visual storytelling. The impressive artistry and technical virtuosity of filmmakers during this era established a legacy that shaped the future of the film industry.

The Influence of Méliès on Fantasy and Sci-Fi Cinema

In addition to its iconic films, the Golden Age of Hollywood also drew inspiration from the trailblazing works of Georges Méliès. Méliès, a pioneering filmmaker known for his imaginative and whimsical creations, paved the way for the development of fantasy and science fiction cinema. His groundbreaking techniques and innovations, such as the use of stop-motion animation and elaborate set designs, transformed the possibilities of visual storytelling.

Méliès’ seminal work, “A Trip to the Moon” (1902), showcased his visionary approach to filmmaking and introduced viewers to the wonders of the fantasy genre. The film’s imaginative storytelling, innovative special effects, and enchanting visuals became a source of inspiration for future filmmakers, leaving an indelible mark on cinema’s fantasy and science fiction genres.

Throughout the Golden Age, Méliès’ influence on the film industry extended beyond his own works, permeating the creative landscape and shaping the imagination of filmmakers who followed. The legacies of Méliès and his fellow visionaries continue to be seen in contemporary fantasy and science fiction films, showcasing the lasting impact of their innovations.

Golden Age of Hollywood

Film Year Director
Gone with the Wind 1939 Victor Fleming
Casablanca 1942 Michael Curtiz
Ben-Hur 1959 William Wyler
The Wizard of Oz 1939 Victor Fleming
Roman Holiday 1953 William Wyler
Citizen Kane 1941 Orson Welles

Beyond Entertainment: Films as a Social Commentary

Cinema has long been a powerful medium for social commentary. It goes beyond mere entertainment, serving as a platform to shine a light on societal issues and provoke thought-provoking discussions. Filmmakers have harnessed the unique power of film to challenge norms, inspire change, and shape public opinion.

Through thoughtfully crafted narratives and compelling characters, movies have the ability to delve into complex topics, raise awareness about pressing societal issues, and inspire viewers to reflect on the world around them. By tapping into the collective consciousness, films can elicit a range of emotions, evoke empathy, and foster a deeper understanding of diverse perspectives.

“Film can be a powerful tool for inspiring change and informing society about important issues. It provides a platform for storytelling that can transcend cultural boundaries and bridge gaps between communities.” – John Smith, Film Critic

Social commentary in films covers a wide range of topics, from gender inequality and racial discrimination to environmental issues and political corruption. By addressing these issues on the silver screen, films have the potential to create a lasting impact on society, influencing public discourse and shaping societal attitudes and behaviors.

One example of films as social commentary is the critically acclaimed movie “Black Panther.” This groundbreaking superhero film addressed important themes of identity, representation, and cultural heritage. By featuring a predominantly Black cast and celebrating African culture, the film sparked conversations about diversity and equality in the film industry and beyond.

Another example is the documentary “An Inconvenient Truth,” which brought the urgency of climate change to the forefront of global consciousness. Through compelling visuals and expert testimony, the film shed light on the devastating consequences of environmental degradation, inspiring a global movement to combat climate change.

It is important to recognize the impact of cinema’s role as a social commentator. By creating narratives that challenge existing norms and explore societal issues, films can drive meaningful change and promote a more inclusive and equitable world.

films as social commentary

Examples of Films as Social Commentary Societal Issues Addressed
“Do the Right Thing” (1989) Racial tensions and systemic racism
“Spotlight” (2015) Investigative journalism and institutional cover-ups
“The Big Short” (2015) The 2008 financial crisis and corporate greed
“12 Years a Slave” (2013) Slavery and the legacy of racial oppression

The Evolution of Storytelling Techniques

The art of storytelling in cinema has evolved over time, with various techniques shaping how stories are told and experienced on screen. From the introduction of sound to the advent of color and the choice of editing styles, these innovations have transformed the cinematic landscape and enhanced the audience’s viewing experience.

The Introduction of Sound and Color

One of the most significant milestones in cinema’s evolution was the introduction of sound. Prior to the emergence of synchronized sound, films were silent, relying solely on visuals and intertitles to convey the story. The integration of sound brought a new dimension to storytelling, enabling dialogue, music, and sound effects to enhance the narrative and immerse the audience in the film’s world.

Similarly, the introduction of color in cinema revolutionized the visual experience. Early films were predominantly black and white, but with advancements in technology, filmmakers began to experiment with color, adding vibrancy and depth to their stories. Color became a powerful storytelling tool, enabling filmmakers to evoke emotions, set moods, and create a visually captivating world for the audience.

Editing Styles and Their Psychological Impact

The choice of editing styles in films has a profound psychological impact on the audience. Editing techniques such as cuts, transitions, and pacing can influence the viewer’s emotional response and engagement with the story. Rapid cuts create a sense of urgency and tension, while slow, deliberate pacing can build suspense and anticipation.

“Editing is where movies are made or broken. Many a film has been saved and many a film has been ruined in the editing room.” – Martin Scorsese

Editing also plays a crucial role in shaping the narrative structure and storytelling flow. Through the manipulation of sequence, rhythm, and timing, editors craft the story, control the audience’s attention, and heighten the dramatic impact. Each editing decision contributes to the overall storytelling experience and influences the audience’s emotional connection with the film.

The evolution of storytelling techniques in cinema showcases the dynamic nature of the art form. The introduction of sound and color, along with the manipulation of editing styles, have transformed the way stories are conveyed and engaged with on screen. These advancements continue to shape the future of cinema, captivating audiences and pushing the boundaries of storytelling.

History of cinema,Why is cinema called cinema?, How has cinema evolved over the years?

Understanding the history of cinema is crucial to appreciate the art form’s evolution over the years. From its humble beginnings to the cutting-edge technology of today, cinema continues to captivate audiences worldwide. Exploring the various factors that have shaped cinema and tracing its development helps us comprehend the immense progress and advancements that have taken place.

In terms of the name “cinema,” its origin can be traced back to the Greek word “kinēma,” which means “movement.” This name accurately reflects cinema’s essence as a medium that brings still images to life, creating the illusion of movement. The term “cinema” eventually became widely accepted and adopted to describe this transformative art form.

Over the years, cinema has witnessed significant changes and advancements in technology, storytelling techniques, and the overall filmmaking process. From silent films in the early 20th century to the introduction of sound and color, each era in cinema history has contributed to its transformation.

Today, cinema incorporates various technological innovations, including digital cinematography and CGI (Computer-Generated Imagery), which have revolutionized the art of filmmaking. These advancements have expanded the possibilities of visual storytelling, enabling filmmakers to create immersive and visually stunning experiences for audiences.

The evolution of cinema is a testament to its enduring legacy as an art form. It continues to captivate and inspire, transporting viewers to different worlds, evoking emotions, and leaving a lasting impact. As cinema progresses and adapts to technological advancements, we eagerly anticipate the next chapter in this remarkable journey.

Revolutionary Directors and Genre Establishment

Revolutionary directors have played a pivotal role in the evolution of cinema, pushing boundaries and establishing new genres. These visionary filmmakers have shaped the cinematic landscape, breaking ground with their unique storytelling approaches and artistic vision. Examining the influence of directors and the establishment of genres offers valuable insights into the creative forces behind the camera and the impact they have had on shaping the art of cinema.

Breaking Ground with New Genres

One of the defining characteristics of revolutionary directors is their ability to break new ground and create pioneering genres in cinema. Through their artistic vision and storytelling prowess, these directors have introduced groundbreaking genres that have challenged conventional norms and captivated audiences. From the sci-fi fantasy worlds of George Lucas’ “Star Wars” to Quentin Tarantino’s reinvention of the crime genre in films like “Pulp Fiction,” these directors have redefined the possibilities of cinema and left an indelible mark on the industry.

Personalities Behind the Camera: Power of Directors

While actors often take center stage in the public eye, it is the directors who hold the creative power behind the camera. Influential directors possess a unique ability to translate their artistic vision onto the screen, shaping every aspect of the filmmaking process. Their creative decisions, from casting choices to cinematography techniques, influence the overall tone and impact of a film. Directors like Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, and Stanley Kubrick have become synonymous with their distinct directorial styles, and their contributions have played a critical role in the evolution of cinema as an art form.

Revolutionary Directors Genre Establishment Groundbreaking Genres Influential Directors
Alfred Hitchcock Alfred Hitchcock is known for his mastery of suspense and psychological thrillers, establishing a genre that continues to captivate audiences. Suspense, Psychological Thrillers Stanley Kubrick
Quentin Tarantino Quentin Tarantino revolutionized the crime genre with his nonlinear storytelling and distinctive dialogue, creating a new genre of “Tarantinoesque” films. Crime, Tarantinoesque Martin Scorsese
Sofia Coppola Sofia Coppola’s introspective and atmospheric films have established a genre of introspective storytelling, exploring themes of isolation and identity. Introspective, Atmospheric Christopher Nolan

These influential directors have not only left a lasting impact on cinema but have also inspired future generations of filmmakers to push the boundaries of storytelling and genre conventions.

The Advent of Digital Cinematography and CGI

The advent of digital cinematography and CGI (Computer-Generated Imagery) has revolutionized the filmmaking process. These technological advancements have expanded the possibilities of visual storytelling, allowing filmmakers to create breathtaking visual spectacles and realistic virtual worlds. With the emergence of digital cinematography, filmmakers can capture and manipulate images with greater precision and clarity. CGI has further enhanced the art of filmmaking by enabling the creation of stunning visual effects, seamlessly integrating imaginary elements into the real world.

One of the major benefits of digital cinematography is its flexibility and cost-effectiveness. Unlike traditional film cameras, digital cameras offer instant feedback, allowing directors and cinematographers to make adjustments on the spot and achieve the desired look. Additionally, the digital format simplifies the editing process, providing filmmakers with more control over post-production and enabling seamless integration of special effects.

The application of CGI in cinema has transformed the way stories are brought to life on the screen. CGI enables filmmakers to create expansive and immersive worlds that were once unimaginable. From fantastical creatures and epic battle sequences to breathtaking landscapes and futuristic cityscapes, CGI has opened up new realms of creativity in filmmaking.

“Digital cinematography and CGI have opened up a whole new world of possibilities in filmmaking, allowing directors to create visually stunning and immersive experiences for audiences.” – James Cameron

These technological advancements have not only enhanced the visual aspects of cinema but also revolutionized the entire production process. Digital cinematography and CGI have significantly reduced the need for physical sets, props, and costly practical effects, leading to more efficient and cost-effective filmmaking. Moreover, the integration of digital technologies has made filmmaking more accessible, enabling aspiring filmmakers to create high-quality productions with limited resources.

As digital cinematography and CGI continue to evolve and improve, filmmakers are constantly pushing the boundaries of visual storytelling. With advancements in technologies such as virtual reality and augmented reality, the future of filmmaking holds even more exciting possibilities for creating immersive and transformative experiences.


The remarkable journey of cinema’s evolution is a testament to its enduring legacy as an art form. From its humble beginnings to the digital age, film has continued to captivate and inspire audiences. Throughout history, cinema has showcased the transformative power of storytelling, transporting us to different worlds, evoking powerful emotions, and leaving a lasting impact.

Cinema’s evolution is an ongoing journey, driven by creativity, innovation, and technological advancements. As we conclude this exploration of cinema history, we celebrate the art form’s ability to connect people, cultures, and generations through shared experiences. Film has the ability to entertain, educate, and challenge our perspectives, making it an essential part of our cultural fabric.

Looking ahead, we eagerly await the next chapter in this remarkable art form. The future of cinema holds countless possibilities, with new technologies and emerging talent reshaping the landscape. As audiences, we are fortunate to witness the evolution and growth of cinema, embracing the passion and dedication of filmmakers who continue to push the boundaries of storytelling.

As we bid farewell to this journey through cinema history, one thing is certain – the enduring legacy of film will continue to captivate and inspire us for generations to come.


What is the history of cinema?

The history of cinema traces back to the late 19th century with the advent of motion pictures. It has since evolved and transformed over the years, shaping the art of storytelling on the silver screen.

How has cinema evolved over the years?

Cinema has evolved through various technological advancements, such as the introduction of sound and color, the advancements in cinematography, the rise of digital cinematography and CGI, and the development of storytelling techniques.

Why is cinema called cinema?

The term “cinema” is derived from the word “cinematograph,” which was a device used in early films that combined the functions of a camera, film projector, and printer.

Who invented the first film?

The invention of the first film is attributed to several pioneers, including Eadweard Muybridge, Louis Le Prince, and the Lumière Brothers. These individuals made significant contributions to the development of motion pictures.

What are some key milestones in cinema’s evolution?

Some key milestones include Eadweard Muybridge’s “Horse in Motion” experiment, the Lumière Brothers’ historic screening of “Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat,” the introduction of sound and color in films, and the rise of digital cinematography and CGI.

How has the film industry grown over time?

The film industry has witnessed significant growth and development, with the establishment of Hollywood as a dominant force in filmmaking and the rise of influential directors and actors. The industry continues to evolve with technological advancements and societal changes.

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