Guide to African Cinema

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 1998 - Performing Arts - 183 pages
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Intended as a guide to the filmmakers and films of the African cinema, this reference book also provides the framework for understanding the history and development of African film with respect to its situation in world cinema. The goals and achievements of African film are studied with respect to the forces that impact it, such as colonialism and racism. The importance of the creative efforts of African filmmakers and the diversity of their approaches to cinema are explored. Examined as well are the views of Africa presented by European colonial filmmakers, views often contested in contemporary African film. The listings include critical analysis, bio-bibliography, and filmographies. Both Saharan and sub-Saharan films are included.

As an important reference to African film, the information outlined is valuable due to the current lack of researched data on African cinema, in part as a result of postcolonial attitudes on production and distribution. The book concentrates on films and directors who work toward defining a unique, African perspective without compromising thematic concerns due to commercial considerations. The research detailed in this text should encourage a wider appreciation of the film work being done in Africa, especially to those without the benefit of access to specialized libraries and collections.


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Page ix - Andre" Malraux, the French novelist and essayist, wrote about the cinema and filmmakers: "The desire to build up a world apart and self-contained, existing in its own right . . . represents humanization in the deepest, certainly the most enigmatic, sense of the word." On the one hand, then, every Guide explores this observation by offering discussions, written in a jargon-free style, of the motion-picture art and its practitioners, and on the other provides much-needed information, seldom available...
Page 12 - African analysis [or perhaps more 312 appropriately a non-Western centered analysis] would attempt a reconfigurative reading that synthesizes the narrative components and reads the images as representing an indictment of contemporary African life-styles and socio-political situations in disarray.
Page 2 - Racism, then, is both individual and systemic, interwoven into the fabric both of the psyche and of the social system, at once grindingly quotidian and maddeningly abstract

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About the author (1998)

SHARON A. RUSSELL is Professor of Communications and Women's Studies at Indiana State Unversity. She has published Stephen King: A Critical Companion (Greenwood 1996) and contributed to Great Women Mystery Writers: A Biocritical Dictionary (Greenwood 1994). She has published many articles on popular fiction and film.

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