African Filmmaking North and South of the Sahara by Roy Armes

By Roy Armes

African cinema is a colourful, various, and comparatively new artwork shape, which keeps to attract the eye of an ever-expanding around the globe viewers. African Filmmaking is the 1st accomplished research in English linking filmmaking within the Maghreb with that during the 12 self sustaining states of francophone West Africa. Roy Armes examines a variety of concerns universal to filmmakers in the course of the sector: the socio-political context, filmmaking in Africa earlier than the mid-1960s, the involvement of African and French governments, questions of nationwide and cultural identification, the problem of globalization, and, in particular, the paintings of the filmmakers themselves during the last forty years, with specific emphasis on more youthful filmmakers. Armes deals a wealth of knowledge and a different viewpoint at the historical past and way forward for African filmmaking.

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65. 66. 67. 68. 69. 70. 71. 72. 73. 74. 75. 76. 77. 18 Troin, Maghreb-Moyen Orient, p. 218. Oliver, The African Experience, p. 304. Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, p. 30. Ibid. Oliver, The African Experience, p. 283. Ibid. Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger (eds), The Invention of Tradition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983), p. 247. , p. 248. Achille Mbembe, cited in Richard Werbner and Terence Ranger (eds), Postcolonial Identities in Africa (London: Zed Books, 1996), p. 1. Ibid. Ibid.

12 The sole Arab name in the credits is that of Mohamed Iguerbouchen, who supplied the ‘oriental’ music to supplement Vincent Scotto’s effective but fundamentally Western score. Tunisia The only pioneer filmmaker to work independently in either the Maghreb or West Africa under colonialism was the Tunisian Albert Samama Chikly (1872–1934), a remarkable figure in every respect to be a pioneer of Arab and African cinema. For one thing Chikly was a Jew, son of the Bey of Tunis’s banker, who had acquired French citizenship.

19 In the one of the first comprehensive surveys of African filmmaking – Guy Hennebelle’s Les Cinémas africains en 1972 – the white Zimbabwean (at that time, before independence, Rhodesian) filmmaker Michael Raeburn gave an interesting introduction to South African cinema, pointing out that these films are ‘made by whites, for whites. 20 Raeburn characterises the 100 feature films shot since 1945 as ‘just pale imitations of Anglo-American archetypes’,21 noting a striking resemblance to Western colonial cinema: ‘in the white films, the nonwhites are only extras.

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