Directory of World Cinema: Africa (Book)
Eschewing the postcolonial hubris that suggests Africa could only define itself in relation to its colonizers, a problem plaguing many studies published in the West on African cinema, this entry in the Directory of World Cinema series instead looks at African film as representing Africa for its own sake, values, and artistic choices.
With a film industry divided by linguistic heritage, African directors do not have the luxury of producing comedies, thrillers, horror films, or even love stories, except perhaps as DVDs that do not travel far outside their country of production. Instead, African directors tend to cover serious sociopolitical ground, even under the cover of comedy, in the hopes of finding funds outside Africa. Contributors to this volume draw on filmic representations of the continent to consider the economic role of women, rural exodus, economic migration, refugees, and diasporas, culture, religion, and magic as well as representations of children, music, languages, and symbols.
A survey of national cinemas in one volume, Directory of World Cinema: Africa is a necessary addition to the bookshelf of any cinephile and world traveler.
Blandine Stefanson taught French literature and cinema at the University of Adelaide until 2002 and is now researching postcolonial cultures in West Africa and New Caledonia. She contributed book chapters and journal articles on postcolonial literatures and/or cinema in Australian Journal of French Studies, Essays in French Literature, Etudes Francophones, Africultures, Dialogues et Cultures. She coordinated Littérature de Nouvelle-Calédonie (Notre Librairie 134) and co-edited Les historiens africains et la mondialisation/African Historians and Globalization. She was Guest Editor for volume 1 of Journal of African Cinemas (Issues 1 & 2) and is now co-editor of Directory of World Cinema: Africa (Intellect Books).