Analyzing a range of South African and West African films inspired by African and non-African literature, Lindiwe Dovey identifies a specific trend in contemporary African filmmaking-one in which filmmakers are using the embodied audiovisual medium of film to offer a critique of physical and psychological violence. Against a detailed history of the medium's savage introduction and exploitation by colonial powers in two very different African contexts, Dovey examines the complex ways in which African filmmakers are preserving, mediating, and critiquing their own cultures while seeking a united vision of the future. More than merely representing socio-cultural realities in Africa, these films engage with issues of colonialism and postcolonialism, "updating" both the history and the literature they adapt to address contemporary audiences in Africa and elsewhere. Through this deliberate and radical re-historicization of texts and realities, Dovey argues that African filmmakers have developed a method of filmmaking that is altogether distinct from European and American forms of adaptation.
Lindiwe Dovey is lecturer in African film and performance arts at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. She holds a BA Honors degree from Harvard University and a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge. She is the founding director of the Cambridge African Film Festival and has made both documentary and fiction films.
List of Film Stills Preface Acknowledgments Abbreviations Introduction: "African Cinema": Problems and Possibilities 1. Cinema and Violence in South Africa 2. Fools and Victims: Adapting Rationalized Rape into Feminist Film 3. Redeeming Features: Screening HIV/AIDS, Screening Out Rape in Gavin Hood's Tsotsi 4. From Black and White to "Coloured": Racial Identity in 1950s and 1990s South Africa in Two Versions of A Walk in the Night 5. Audio-visualizing "Invisible" Violence: Remaking and Reinventing Cry, the Beloved Country 6. Cinema and Violence in Francophone West Africa 7. Losing the Plot, Restoring the Lost Chapter: Aristotle in Cameroon 8. African Incar(me)nation: Joseph Ga' Ramaka's Karmen Ge' (2001) 9. Humanizing the Old Testament's Origins, Historicizing Genocide's Origins: Cheick Oumar Sissoko's La GenSse (1999) Conclusion Notes Filmography Bibliography Index