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Contemporary African Cinema (Paperback) (Olivier Barlet)

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Barlet draws on the Africultures website to offer this book on African film and film criticism, focusing on film that has emerged since the mid-1990s and since his prior book on the subject, and giving approximately equal weight to North African and Sub-Saharan African film. He relates both the content and the style of new film to the dramatic political changes that have taken place in Africa during the last two decades, including the Arab Spring. He turns the main lens of questioning onto criticism itself, seeking to avoid an essentializing frame of African identity but rather ask how filmmakers work to manipulate and subvert the world's gaze onto Africa. The longest first chapter explores the social structures that determine film in Africa, both local and international. Noting that one cannot necessarily expect African film to to reflect Africa back to itself in the way Western films reflect their home countries for home audiences, it examines how Africa is often rather created or advertised through film. The remaining chapters hone in on specific aspects of this dynamic as shown through consistency or abrupt innovation in thematic content; the pervasive evidence of the Western gaze; films that attempt to remember and reconcile the violence of the colonial and freshly post-colonial past; strategies used to position the spectator and to give living voice to bodies oppressed by gender or sexuality; and economic pressures of asymmetric markets in Africa and internationally. He concludes in a swift final chapter that decolonization of the imagination is vital for African film, and Africa itself, to become emancipated from its definition by comparison to its former rulers. Annotation ©2016 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (protoview.com)
Number of Pages: 452
Genre: Art, History, Literary Criticism
Sub-Genre: History
Series Title: African Humanities and the Arts
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Michigan State Univ Pr
Author: Olivier Barlet
Language: English
Street Date: August 1, 2016
TCIN: 51542152
UPC: 9781611862119
Item Number (DPCI): 248-23-5086
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