Questioning African Cinema: Conversations with Filmmakers

Questioning African Cinema: Conversations with Filmmakers

Questioning African Cinema: Conversations with Filmmakers

Questioning African Cinema: Conversations with Filmmakers

Synopsis

Featuring interviews with key personalities from 12 nations, Questioning African Cinema provides the most extensive, comprehensive account of the origins, practice, and implications of filmmaking in Africa.

Excerpt

The art of the skillful question puts the questioner in a stance of opposition to conventional wisdom and provides a framework for the development of new insights, new methods, new ways of seeing and thinking. in this volume, Professor N. Frank Ukadike certainly asks the pertinent questions, eliciting responses that speak to the nature of African cinema and African culture more generally. Yet, as Ukadike suggests in the book's title, African cinema is itself a matter of questions and questioning, an ongoing questioning that never merely accepts the supposed givens of African reality. in many ways, Ukadike's questions in this book are in part, but probe deeper into, the questions that African cinema and filmmakers have asked and continue to ask: questions about the relationship of contemporary African life to Africa's past, to its traditions; questions about the political and ideological institutions imposed by colonial rule and maintained by postcolonial power structures; questions about the roles of men and women in African society; questions about the importance of language and oral narratives, and about the ways in which myths and mythmaking are recast by cinema, as in the case of Safi Faye's most recent film, Mossane. Yet the questions that Ukadike asks, like the questions that African cinema asks, are not eternal questions. Indeed, they serve to disrupt the perception—so common in Western representations of Africa—of an unchanging, monolithic Africa. Neither Africa nor African cinema can be reduced to a fixed, eternal essence. To say that African cinema is a questioning cinema is also to say that it continually moves and changes.

African cinema connects the past and the future of Africa. in making this connection, it often employs a nonlinear structure, moving from one time frame to another, so that sometimes the past resides in the present, and sometimes the future is in the present. To many Western observers, these films may seem to be rooted in . . .

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