Essays

  • When Film Is a Festival
  • Jeffrey Ruoff
  • While millions of Americans experience the rise and fall of summer blockbusters, enthusiastic audiences see radically different movies in jam-packed theaters. I’m not thinking of your local multiplex, where the latest Woody Allen movie might sneak onto one of the screens, or of the few remaining specialized cinemas that regularly play foreign films, but instead […]

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  • MIRROR, MIRROR ON THE SCREEN: A Story about Africa in Cinema
  • Jude G. Akudinobi
  • The car glided to a stop. At least, that was how Dikeogu felt. Entering the lush “gated community,” squinting at what seemed like set-after-set of a very lavish budget Hollywood production and a reel of disorienting scenarios playing in his head, seemed like an out-of-body experience. An ornate fountain, at the center of the drive-way, […]

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  • Selma and the American-ness of the Academy
  • Iquo B. Essien
  • Last week, I attended a screening of Ava DuVernay’s Selma about Martin Luther King, Jr. and the 1965 voting rights marches of Alabama. Desperate for inspiration, fresh off my second rejection from Sundance Screenwriters Labs—this time, unlike last year’s form letter, a lovely e-mail from the program director praising my “empathy” towards the story’s characters—I […]

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  • Tunde Kelani and his passion for documenting Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage
  • Tunde Adegbola
  • Tunde Kelani is socialised into a rather unusual flavour of Nigerian culture.  Though born in Lagos in the 1940s, at the consummation of the colonial era of Yoruba history, he grew up further inland in Abeokuta, thereby experiencing first hand a vital vestige of Yoruba traditional life.  These circumstances seem to have coalesced with his […]

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  • Cinemas of the South
  • Imunga Ivanga
  • Cinematic production originating in the South is often understood as a cinema of transition. Unique luxury, it takes the time to paint a world that is distant and yet so close, both in its refusal of entertainment and in its maintenance of the auteur status. In reality it is a cinema of the refusal of […]

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  • The Rwandan Holocaust On Film
  • Kimani wa Wanjiru
  • “Let me try and describe Kigali on April 1994,” Nick Hughes, a documentary cameraman with Vivid Features told and attentive audience in Harvard. “A convoy of Belgium paratroopers was going to a Catholic mission to rescue a white expatriate and we tugged along. The convoy made its way through the centre of Kigali and there […]

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  • The Role of Music in African Cinema
  • Beatriz Leal Riesco
  • Even today, an analysis of the complex role of music in film is often forgotten by critics, many of whom remain prostrate before the dictatorship of the image. Yet as a manifestation of culture, music has a privileged position with respect to the study of representations of identity and ideology; moreover, in its subversive and […]

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  • Gone With the Critique
  • Imunga Ivanga
  • Can we speak of cinema critique when it comes to the cinemas of Sub-Saharan Africa? This question, asked in such brutal a manner, still remains an enigma in my view. Under other auspices, the question of critique often translates itself into the effervescence of an atmosphere that is more contentious than consensual, but in any […]

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  • Some Thoughts on the film “The Daily Nation”
  • Tom Mshindi
  • I thought the film directors did a commendable job in capturing the mood and character of not only life within the Nation Media Group and newspaper industry in Kenya, but also of the country as a whole. The excellent shots of the hustle and bustle of Nairobi, the chaotic traffic, the buildings, the bus terminus, […]

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  • Yellow Card
  • Steve Smith
  • YELLOW CARD is now developing a life of its’ own and we are encouraging organizations across the continent to take control and run with the project. While this is very exciting, it makes it increasingly difficult to keep track of the many activities and associated spin-offs of the project. Currently, we have the video itself […]

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  • WOMEN AND CINEMA at ZIFF
  • Kimani Wa Wanjiru
  • As the fledgling African film industry tries to find its footing, women are emerging as some of its most ardent supporters and stakeholders across the continent. In film, women have found a forum where they can express their problems, desires, dreams, aspirations and influence people to change their attitudes, using an entertaining and informative approach.  […]

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  • Globalizing African Cinema?
  • Mbye Cham
  • Is it a mere fortuitous coincidence that the last two decades of the twentieth century witnessed the re-emergence of the very same forces and ideologies of expansion, domination and control that burst onto the world scene in the last two decades of the nineteenth century? Are there parallels between the forces and ideologies of late […]

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  • Excerpt From No Longer Invisible: Afro-Latin Americans Today
  • Anani Dzidzienyo
  • It is self-evident that specific historical, cultural, socio-economic and political conjunctions result in the emergence of different race relations patterns in the Americas. Brazil and the Caribbean countries, for example, differ significantly from Peru, where people of African descent are in a distinct minority and their position can be properly understood only in relation to […]

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  • Karmen Gei: Political Sex Icon
  • Saya Woolfalk
  • The Hollywood film industry helps create a lexicon of concepts and images used to define a woman’s sexual power. In America, this multibillion dollar industry encourages the use of exercise, makeup, and breast augmentation to transcend human limitations (e.g. temporality and corporeality) and empower the self.  It deifies a female protagonist who relies on her […]

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  • Colonies, l’Empire des signes
  • Charlotte Garson and Elisabeth Lequeret
  • « Colonies, les cicatrices de l’histoire » : la programmation fleuve qui se tient jusqu’au 30 avril Forum des Images ouvre une brèche, loin de toute…cicatrisation. En marge des fictions, pléthoriques mais connues, les films d’archives inédites françaises, belges, américaines, hollandaises, britanniques – ont donné à voir, au-delà de la banalité du mal colonial, une multiplicité de regards. […]

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  • Sembène the Ceddo
  • Olivier Barlet
  • The Elephant had a toothache, as they would say in the Ivory Coast: the “Father of African film” left us during the night of the 9th of June 2007, aged 84, as a result of a long illness that prevented him from attending the 2007 Fespaco. Tribute-portrait of a man who called himself a non-believer, […]

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  • African Cinema, what it is, what challenges it encounters and possible ways forward
  • Hans-Christian Mahnke
  • “Modern societies have become information dependent and information driven. One of the challenges we face in this context is to avoid being overwhelmed by the powerful cultural imperialism that seeks to penetrate our societies through films, television, the Internet and other mass media. As part of our response to this challenge, we have to cultivate […]

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  • New Looks: The Rise of African Women Filmmakers
  • Lindiwe Dovey
  • In this article, I draw on my experience not only as a researcher and teacher of African film, but also as an African film programmer and film festival director over the past ten years, from 2001 to 2011. The article thus shifts between descriptive and prescriptive registers; at turns analytical, it also takes on the […]

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  • Mirror, Mirror on the Screen: A Story about Africa in Cinema
  • Jude G. Akudinobi
  • The car glided to a stop.  At least, that was how Dikeogu felt. Entering the lush “gated community”, squinting at what seemed like set-after-set of a very lavish budget Hollywood production and a reel of disorienting scenarios playing in his head, seemed like an out-of-body experience. An ornate fountain, at the center of the drive-way, […]

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