Passion of the Reel (Book)

Cinematic versus Modernist Political Fictions in Cameroon

Highlighting the challenges faced by a nascent national cinema with limited resources, Passion of the Reel provides an in-depth analysis of the output of the Cameroonian film industry. Jean-Olivier Tchouaffe shows that, far from an empty receptacle for colonial legacies, Cameroon – and Africa – must move beyond their colonial legacies to focus on indigenous productions of meaning informed by traditional wisdom and ordinary Cameroonian life experience. Tchouaffe's analysis sets the stage for a film-driven exploration of postcolonialism, social construction and modernization.


JEAN OLIVIER TCHOUAFFE is a visiting Assistant Professor at Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX. He teaches classes on Communication and Film Studies. He is currently working on a book on Cameroonian cinema and grassroots democratic activism. Besides many book chapters, his other works have also appeared in the Journal of Applied Semiotics, POV Online, Journal of Contemporary Thought, The Journal of African Cinemas, PostAmble Journal and in The International Encyclopedia of Communication.

SHERI MALMAN joined the publishing industry more than twenty years ago, and she spent several years as a regional sales manager and the Religion Marketing Manager for Publishers Weekly. She now divides her time between teaching English composition at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington, editing a variety of both academic and popular projects, and coaching writers.


Part I: Native Context: The Battle for the Nation’s most Sacred Resources; the Palaver Tree, Mevungu and Colonial Cadavers

Chapter 1: Cinema and the Quest for the Right Transcript, Images and Sound

Chapter 2: Setting the Stage: On the Tenacity of the African Colonial Archives

Chapter 3: L’Etat C’est Moi! Desire, Power and Consumption in Cameroon

Part II: Notes on Major Cameroonian Film-makers

Chapter 4: Cameroonian Cinematic Pioneers

Chapter 5: Second Generation

Chapter 6: Cameroon Women in Film: Therese Sita-Bella, Florence Ayisi, Osvalde Lewat and Josephine N’Dagnou

Conclusion: Cameroonian Cinema and the Dance of the Ghosts


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