Cinema and Media Studies African Cinema
by
Frank Ukadike
  • LAST REVIEWED: 11 August 2022
  • LAST MODIFIED: 27 November 2013
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199791286-0073

Introduction

The term “African cinema” generally refers to film production in Sub-Saharan African countries. Compared to the other national cinemas in the world, African cinema can be said to be a recent phenomenon that for many countries within this region only began to materialize after independence in the 1960s. Thus, following the patterns of colonialism and the struggle for independence, film production mirrored the patterns of development in the English, French, and Portuguese-speaking African countries (often referred to as Anglophone, Francophone, and Lusophone regions). Its emergence also gave it a unique characteristic that is also quite distinct from the cinemas of the culturally Arabic-inclined North Africa, which has a longer production history. This North-South dichotomy is somehow knotty, as it signifies both ascertained commonalities and differences among filmmakers in the two African regions. Although cultural and political situations may seem threatening and agitating, the filmmakers are still united as one body under the banner of the Pan-African Federation of Filmmakers (FEPACI). They have also maintained regular contact and partnerships with Africa’s premiere film festivals in Carthage (Tunisia) and Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), where they strategize with respect to questions in relation to African filmmaking. Thus, the shifting conditions and adjustments made to the intrinsic manifestations of the colonial and post-independence periods reveal the cinemas that came into existence under unique circumstances that were incomparable to those of any other national cinema. South Africa offers another dimension in regard to its construction of African film history and the discourse of African cinemas. After the country became a bona fide member of the African Union following the demise of apartheid, the cinema in South Africa, once referred to as the “cinema of apartheid,” simply became known as “South African cinema.” A multiracial society that is unlike many other countries in Africa, film production in this land is, on the one hand, dominated by white South Africans and is closely aligned with the narratological patterns of Hollywood and European cinemas. On the other hand, the yearnings of black filmmakers to narrate stories in their own way, epitomizes the clamor for production based on the aesthetic canons and parallels similar to black African cinemas, something that is gradually being realized. Hence, as the springboard for analysis, the colonial, postcolonial, and contemporary practices informing film production and their bearing on aesthetics and the discourse of African cinemas can thus be explicated. Diversity, as the penultimate credo of this creative enterprise (and revolving as it does around the eclectic traditions of the continent’s cinematic practices in various regions, narratological patterns, filming techniques and, thus, image significations) offers expanded definitions of African film aesthetics.

Introductory Works

Critical studies of African filmmaking have proliferated since the production of films in Africa by Africans starting in the mid-1950s. Most of the pioneering first book-length studies were written in French as part of the Cinemas d’Africa noire series published by OCIC (Organisation Catholic Internationale du Cinema et de l’Audiovisuel) in Brussels. Bachy 1982a, Bachy 1982b, Bachy 1982c, Otten 1984, Vieyra 1983 offer country-by-country studies of African filmmaking. Schmidt 1985 provides an excellent review of all five books. Vieyra 1975 the first book by an African, one that synthesizes African filmmaking in one volume and that is truly an exemplary work that is also an interesting introduction to the historical, cultural, political, and ideological underpinnings of African film practices.

  • Bachy, Victor. Le cinéma au Mali. Brussels: OCIC, 1982a.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A brief overview of the origins of film production in Mali from the perspective of a French historian.

    Find this resource:

  • Bachy, Victor. Le cinéma au Cote d’Ivoire. Brussels: OCIC, 1982b.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This offers a brief history of the development of film production in the Ivory Coast (Côte d’Ivoire), from colonial involvement to local production activities; it discusses pioneer filmmakers and the types of fiction/documentary films they made.

    Find this resource:

  • Bachy, Victor. Le Haute-Volta et le cinéma. Brussels: OCIC, 1982c.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Covers the origins of film production in Upper Volta (Burkina Faso), the establishment of Africa’s biennial film festival (the Pan-African Festival of film and television of Ouagadougou), as well as the film institute, which was established in 1976 with the help of UNESCO.

    Find this resource:

  • Otten, Rik. Le cinema dans le pays des grands lacs Zaire Rwanda Burundi. Brussels: OCIC, 1984.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This documents information on early developments of film production in Zaire, Rwanda, and Burundi.

    Find this resource:

  • Schmidt, Nancy J. “African Filmmaking Country by Country.” African Studies Review 28.1 (1985): 111–114.

    DOI: 10.2307/524570Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    An excellent review of filmmaking in several African nations, reflected in Bachy 1982c, Otten 1984, and Vieyra 1983. This article offers important updates and information pertaining to historical specificity, as well as to some of the problems in the early writings on African films.

    Find this resource:

  • Vieyra, Paulin Soumanou. Le cinéma Africain: Des origins à 1973. Paris: Présence Africaine, 1975.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    An excellent introduction to the history of African filmmaking, the first to synthesize it in one volume but covers only to 1973.

    Find this resource:

  • Vieyra, Paulin Soumanou. Le cinéma au Sénégal. Brussels: OCIC, 1983.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Presents an authoritative perspective on the history of filmmaking in Senegal, explaining the problems of development, as per pre-independence structures and thereafter.

    Find this resource:

General Overviews

Clearly, unique expressivity coupled with the increased visibility of the new phenomena led to critical thoughts in the English language. Taylor 1987 offers an illuminating evolutionary overview of African cinemas. The proliferating modes of production, exhibition, and distribution and the influential ideological ramifications can be understood from the valuable survey offered in Diawara 1992. Ukadike 1994 expands the survey, offering a deeper analytical, historical, and theoretical overview of the patterns of development. Armes 1987; Malkmus and Armes 1991; and Armes 2006 include North Africa in the discourse of the external influences, traditional cultures, and formal elements that shape cinematic culture in Africa as well as the major trends in African cinema since inception. Barlet 2001 challenges the reader to experience African films, not from the perspective of formal history, but in seeing films as artifacts of social and cultural value. And in Gugler 2003, a counter notion of cinematic image of Africa is presented through a thoughtful reading and interpretation of major African films.

  • Armes, Roy. Third World Film Making and the West. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Covers North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa and gives a groundbreaking survey of film production in the Third World that highlights struggles to assert national identities against the colossal neocolonial forces mitigating against the production of film in each of the respective countries covered.

    Find this resource:

  • Armes, Roy. African Filmmaking: North and South of the Sahara. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2006.

    DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748621231.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    As cited above, filmmaking north and south of the Sahara is synthesized here. This offers a lucid discussion of colonial and postcolonial experiences, from both government and individual involvement to the work of the younger generation of filmmakers. The major tendencies in African film production since inception are explored in this book.

    Find this resource:

  • Barlet, Olivier. African Cinemas: Decolonizing the Gaze. Translated by Chris Turner. London: Zed Books, 2001.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Useful for all college levels, this is an impressive amalgam of anecdotes and personal reflections on African cinema culled from conversations with filmmakers and a knowledge of other cultural producers. While this is not a formal history of African cinema per se, it does connect the evolution of such practices and situations with narrative paradigms and cultural specificities.

    Find this resource:

  • Diawara, Manthia. African Cinema: Politics and Culture. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1992.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    An excellent introductory text that offers an indispensable general historical overview of African film production. This is an important textbook for any student of African cinema and is particularly useful at the undergraduate level.

    Find this resource:

  • Gugler, Josef. African Film: Re-Imagining a Continent. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2003.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This is an important contribution to the rewriting of African history using cinema. Through a fascinating analysis and reinterpretation of major African films, the audience that has been shaped by a preconceived notion of the continent is better positioned to understand how colonialism, history and culture can impact production and the reading of Africa films. An invaluable source of information at all levels in African studies.

    Find this resource:

  • Malkmus, Lizbeth, and Roy Armes. Arab and African Filmmaking. London: Zed Books, 1991.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This exhibits a unique combination: studies of filmmaking in North and South Africa, and a valuable dictionary of filmmakers in one volume that explores film production in both regions during the colonial and post-independence periods.

    Find this resource:

  • Taylor, Clyde. “Africa: The Last Cinema.” In World Cinema since 1945. Edited by William Luhr. New York: Ungar, 1987.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This influential twenty-one-page article on the history of filmmaking in Africa since independence is comprehensive and remarkable for covering North as well as Sub-Saharan Africa.

    Find this resource:

  • Ukadike, Nwachukwu Frank. Black African Cinema. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A seminal work that is as perceptive in its investigation of the factors of production as it is about the narration and diversity of Africa and the complexity of its pluralistic cinemas. It gives an indispensable overview and is loaded with a profound wealth of information. An excellent companion to scholars at all levels working on African cinema.

    Find this resource:

Theoretical Postulations

The uniqueness of African film aesthetics continues to generate interesting polemical arguments. Gabriel 1982 remains one of the most influential texts on the theory of Third World cinema and one that has exerted unparalleled influence on African film discourse, theory, and criticism. Shaka 2004 examines the configurations of colonial and postcolonial impediments on construction of identities, film structures, and discourse of African films, and Givanni 2001 offers a provocative debate concerning aesthetics and the practitioners’ prerogatives. Harrow 2007 presents a counter-discourse that seems to relegate the acknowledgment of the notion of African film language.

  • Gabriel, Teshome H. Third Cinema in the Third World: The Aesthetics of Liberation. Ann Arbor: UMI Research, 1982.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    An influential study on the concept of Third World cinema, theory, and practice that is still valuable as a focused seminal work that repostulated the notion of cinema and critical theory.

    Find this resource:

  • Givanni, June, ed. Symbolic Narratives/African Cinema: Audiences, Theory, and the Moving Image. London: British Film Institute, 2001.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A collection of provocative arguments: papers and responses to such papers presented by filmmakers, film critics, and cultural theorists at the 1995 “Africa and the History of Cinematic Ideas,” covering a wide range of issues concerning production, exhibition, and the reception of various films.

    Find this resource:

  • Harrow, Kenneth W. Postcolonial African Cinema: From Political Engagement to Postmodernism. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2007.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Invoking the now-familiar post-Lacanian and postmodern approaches, this book makes an argument for the repostulation of both African filmmaking and African film discourse. Scholars will find it challenging to debate the terms of repostulation suggested here, or the question of whether there can be autonomous African film language or criticism.

    Find this resource:

  • Shaka, Femi Okiremuete. Modernity and the African Cinema: A Study in Colonialist Discourse, Postcoloniality, and Modern African Identities. Trenton, NJ: Africa World, 2004.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    An ambitious study that focuses on important issues in African film discourse, such as the problem of African film criticism, structures of production in the colonial and postcolonial periods, and questions with respect to African subjectivity and identity as constructed in films.

    Find this resource:

Primary Sources and Commentaries

Scattered information in this tricky-to-define category can be found in European libraries and archives, and in the archives in Ouagadougou. Frequently cited editions of important historical documents, contemporary testimonials, and scholarly research can be found in Martin 1982, Ballantyne and Andrew 1986, Bakari and Cham 1996, and in declamations and manifestos in Federation Panafricaine des Cineastes Panafrican Federation of Filmmakers (FEPACI) 1995. Commentaries in Ukadike 2002, in regard to understanding the history, politics, culture, ideology, and the interrelation of aesthetics in the Sub-Saharan region, are a storehouse of primary sources for researchers. With respect to monographs, interviews, and other official documents and resources, see the relevant sections. Wiley, et al. 1982 contains highly informative research resources covering films of all genres, including cartoons about Africa and some pioneer African films.

  • Bakari, Imruh, and Mbye Cham, eds. African Experiences of Cinema. London: British Film Institute, 1996.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Highly informative and immensely significant, this contains a collection of valuable documents, essays, manifestos, and testimonial on the phases of production, challenges, and expectations that are significant to the development of film production in various parts of Africa over a long period of time.

    Find this resource:

  • Ballantyne, James, and Roberts Andrew. Africa: A Handbook of Film and Video Resources. London: British Universities Film and Video Council, 1986.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Produced for the African Studies Association of the United Kingdom’s Conference “Africa and the Wider World” University of Kent at Canterbury, 17–19 September 1986.

    Find this resource:

  • Federation Panafricaine des Cineastes Panafrican Federation of Filmmakers (FEPACI). L’Afrique et le centenaire du cinèma. Paris: Presence Africaine, 1995.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Articles covering a wide range of topics in regard to cinematic practices in Africa to commemorate the 100-year mark since the invention of cinema.

    Find this resource:

  • Martin, Angela, ed. African Films: The Context of Production. London: British Film Institute, 1982.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    For an understanding of the context of African cinema in the first decades of its inception, this work is one of a kind in the English language.

    Find this resource:

  • Ukadike, Nwachukwu Frank. Questioning African Cinema: Conversations with Filmmakers. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2002.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Documents valuable information from twenty African filmmakers whose views and critical assessments are vital to understanding the state practices that impact the development/underdevelopment of cinema in Africa, and with respect to contemporary African film practices.

    Find this resource:

  • Wiley, David S., ed. Africa on Film and Videotape 1960–1981: A Compendium of Reviews. East Lansing: African Studies Center, Michigan University, 1982.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A highly informative and extremely valuable work with respect to discovering the origins of how Africa has been caricatured in films of all genres, including fiction, documentary, ethnographic, cartoons, and so forth. It also contains critical observations about image significations and aspects of misconception.

    Find this resource:

Biographies/Filmographies

Since the inception of African film production in the mid-1950s, distribution and exhibition have been a major challenge and have made African films difficult to locate, let alone to document. Pfaff 1988 and Shiri 1992 are examples of early works that transcend this limitation. The African specialist Nancy Schmidt has two highly recommended and authoritative biographical collections on African filmmaking; these collections are groundbreaking for their numerous entries that cover English- and French-language sources, including books, monographs, articles, pamphlets, theses, reviews and so forth, all pertaining to filmmaking in Africa (Schmidt 1988, Schmidt 1994). Russell 1998, like Shiri 1992, is a reference guide to directors and their works, the later covering the whole of Africa while the former does not.

  • Pfaff, Françoise. Twenty-five Black African Filmmakers: A Critical Study, with Filmography and Bio-bibliography. New York: Greenwood, 1988.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Methodologically well organized, this volume has an incredible wealth of information consisting of dense biography, filmography, critical surveys of individual filmmakers’ works, as well as thematic analyses of the films of the featured twenty-five African filmmakers. Each chapter is meticulously researched and, on the whole, this offers unparalleled insight into the pioneering decades of African film productions.

    Find this resource:

  • Russell, Sharon A. Guide to African Cinema. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1998.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A reference guide that discusses directors and films made in some (but not all) African countries.

    Find this resource:

  • Schmidt, Nancy. Sub-Saharan African Films and Filmmakers: An Annotated Bibliography. London: Hans Zell, 1988.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Released at a time when information on African films was sporadic, this volume is still valuable as a basic guide to research on Africa as it was then, especially when many of the films, critical surveys, and so forth no longer exist.

    Find this resource:

  • Schmidt, Nancy. Sub-Saharan African Films and Filmmakers: An Annotated Bibliography, 1987–1992. London: Hans Zell, 1994.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Contains authoritative and indispensable research materials on African cinema with more than seven thousand entries from English- and French-language books, monographs, articles, academic theses and dissertations, and other resource materials on film production in Africa. Scholars looking for information on the economies of production from country to country will find this volume extremely informative. Critical reviews in French and Portuguese that are not documented in the English language are vital archival research materials.

    Find this resource:

  • Shiri, Keith, ed. Directory of African Film-makers and Films. London: Flicks, 1992.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A compendium of filmmakers and their films covering the whole of Africa, from Tripoli to Cape Town. The film titles are organized in their original indigenous languages as well as in English.

    Find this resource:

Anthologies, Dossiers, and Special Issues of Journals

Along with the proliferation of African cinema came an expanded discourse on the continent’s cinematic practices. The gradual development of interest by Western critics and historians, and the reception and acceptance of African cinema as a viable means of understanding the cultures of Africa, spurred multidisciplinary critical assessment of the continent’s cinema, inspiring anthologies such as Martin 1995 (covering the black diaspora) with sections on African cinema, Petty 1996, which is devoted exclusively to the cinema and politics of Ousmane Sembene. Harrow 1999 focuses on feminine perspectives in African cinema, and Givanni 2001 is a provocative debate and highly indispensable volume on African cinema. Pfaff 2004 is insightful in highlighting the pluralistic themes of African films. A collection of impressive essays by experts in these volumes underscores the importance of African films in the realm of world cinematic discourse.

  • Givanni, June, ed. Symbolic Narratives/African Cinema: Audiences, Theory, and the Moving Image. London: British Film Institute, 2001.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A collection of provocative arguments: papers and responses to such papers presented by filmmakers, film critics, and cultural theorists at the 1995 “Africa and the History of Cinematic Ideas,” covering a wide range of issues concerning production, exhibition, and the reception of various films. Excellent material for African film discourse especially on upper-level courses.

    Find this resource:

  • Harrow, Kenneth W., ed. African Cinema: Postcolonial and Feminist Readings. Trenton, NJ: Africa World, 1999.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Essays in this volume address questions of postcolonialism and feminism in contemporary African cinema. It includes detailed filmography, directories, festival listings, and notes. An important introduction to the contribution of African women directors.

    Find this resource:

  • Martin, Michael T., ed. Cinemas of the Black Diaspora: Diversity, Dependence, and Oppositionality. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1995.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This offers a full overview of the cinemas of the black diaspora, including film production on the African continent.

    Find this resource:

  • Petty, Shiela, ed. A Call to Action: The Films of Ousmane Sembene. Westport, CT: Praeger, 1996.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    The seven articles in this issue explore Sembene’s method of narrating Africa as it pertains to the struggle to create a new continent out of the old, as well as exploring economic stagnation and social change.

    Find this resource:

  • Pfaff, Françoise, ed. Focus on African Films. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2004.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Essays in this volume highlight themes, style, and socioeconomic determinants of the pluralistic filmmaking in African since the 1950s up to the contemporary period. It includes a broad list of sources and resources on African cinema.

    Find this resource:

Nollywood

As a new phenomenon that emerged back in the late 1980s, Nigerian films, also valuable in classrooms worldwide, are widely available and used in such disciplines as anthropology, history, women’s studies, African studies, film studies, among others. It has become the topic for many dissertations, books, and several special issue journals devoted to it; in fact, since its inception just four decades ago, Nigerian film has garnered more attention than its predecessor, the African celluloid film.

Special Periodical Issues on Nollywood

Some of the special issues coming from both film and interdisciplinary periodicals present Nollywood narratives as open ended; by assigning a special topic for engagement, scholars are given the opportunity to approach the topics from diverse multi-disciplinary perspective. Postcolonial Text (2007) (an interdisciplinary journal); Journal of African Cinemas (2012) and Film International (2007) (both film journals) have organized studies on Nollywood industry and its films.

  • Haynes, Jonathan, ed. Special Issue: Reflections on Nollywood. Journal of African Cinemas 4.1 (2012).

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Africa is no longer a filmic cul de sac. The proliferation of filmmaking, especially bolstered by Nollywood and South African productions, underscores the importance of creating a forum to discuss the African fiction, documentary, cartoon and animation films, and other related arts.

    Find this resource:

  • Okome, Onookome, ed. Special Issue: Welcome to Nollywood: Africa Visualizes. Film International 5.4 (2007).

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This special issue is devoted to the video film in Africa.

    Find this resource:

  • Okome, Onookome, ed. Special Issue: Nollywood: West African Cinema. Postcolonial Text 3.2 (2007).

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Articles in this issue focus mainly on Nigerian and Ghanaian video films and the question of spectatorship.

    Find this resource:

Special Periodical Issues on African Film

Until recently, the advent of the Journal of African Cinemas (cited above), different journals have showcased their own special issues specifically devoted to African cinemas. Research In African Literatures, Black Film Bulletin, IRIS: A Journal of Theory on Image and Sound, Social Identities and Journal of African Cultural Studies have ended up becoming enduring research materials or coveted anthologies.

Regional/Country

With cinema developing differently in the continent following patterns of colonization (Anglophone, Francophone, and Lusophone), or due to socio-linguistic affirmations, for example, Arabophone—all proving too large to synthesize in one volume, some academic works have shifted to regional studies. Thackway 2003 is a survey of the contexts of production in Sub-Saharan Francophone Africa, Onookome and Haynes 1995 gives an overview of production in some west African countries, and Khalil 2008 documents contemporary situations in the North African Maghreb.

  • Khalil, Andrea Flores. North African Cinema in a Global Context: Through the Lens of Diaspora. London: Routledge, 2008.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Provides information on film production in the Maghreb region, including Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia. Themes covered include gender and sexuality, national identity, political conflict, among others.

    Find this resource:

  • Onookome, Okome, and Jonathan Haynes, eds. Cinema and Social Change in West Africa. Jos, Nigeria: Nigerian Film Corporation, 1995.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Offers an overview of some production activities in the west African region.

    Find this resource:

  • Thackway, Melissa. Africa Shoots Back: Alternative Perspectives in Sub-Saharan Francophone African Film. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2003.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Emphasizes postcolonial contexts of production, as it foregrounds the concern to integrate aspects of cultural codes into narrative structures in the depiction of African realities, identities, and situations. This work also includes interviews with filmmakers and a long bibliographical list.

    Find this resource:

Nigeria

Before the advent of Nollywood Nigerian film production was extremely sporadic and at best artisanal. However, important studies documenting the struggle to create national film culture exist and are helping scholars understand the current trend. Opubor and Nwuneli 1979 covers proceedings of a seminar on the film industry and cultural identity in Nigeria, and Mgbejume 1989 is a pioneer reference work that students and researchers will find useful.

  • Mgbejume, Onyero. Film in Nigeria: Development, Problems, and Promise. Africa Media Monograph Series 7. Nairobi, Kenya: African Council on Communication Education, 1989.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    An essential reading, teaching, and research material, this is one of the earliest writings about Nigerian film from the perspective of a Nigerian.

    Find this resource:

  • Opubor, Alfred, and Onwurah Nwuneli. The Development and Growth of the Film Industry in Nigeria. Lagos, Nigeria: Third Press International, 1979.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    An important assessment of problems of developing the Nigerian film industry by artists, critics, and professionals. A must read for researchers of the Nollywood industry.

    Find this resource:

South Africa

More than any other country in Africa, critical assessments of South African cinema (even before the dismantling of apartheid) by the country’s prolific authors are enormous and have brought international attention to its flourishing film industry. See Tomaselli 1988, Gutsche 1972, Blignaut 1992, and Balseiro 2003.

  • Balseiro, Isabel, and Ntongela Masilela, eds. To Change Reels: Film and Culture in South Africa. Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press, 2003.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    One of the better studies on filmmaking in South Africa to emerge after apartheid. It juxtaposes film and cultural history with perspectives on race and social identity. This offers a detailed interpretation of the alternative side of South African filmmaking, making it extremely valuable in understanding the impact of films on the lives of marginalized blacks.

    Find this resource:

  • Blignaut, Johan, and Martin Botha, eds. Movies, Moguls, Mavericks: South African Cinema 1979–1991. Cape Town: Showdata, 1992.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A compilation of articles, written by academics, journalists, and filmmakers in South Africa. This work includes a comprehensive filmography of all features, documentaries, television productions and short films made between 1979 and 1991.

    Find this resource:

  • Gutsche, Thelma. The History and Social Significance of Motion Pictures in South Africa, 1895–1940. Cape Town: H. Timmins, 1972.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    The seminal work on the early encounters of South Africa with the motion picture, which in actuality continues to inform as to the historical and the ideological underpinnings of the contemporary structures of the South African filmmaking and the film industry.

    Find this resource:

  • Tomaselli, Keyan G. The Cinema of Apartheid: Race and Class in South African Film. New York: Smyrna/Lake View, 1988.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This remains a standard work, even after the fall of apartheid, and is a book that uses the concept of race to construct an overview of South African film history and to lay the theoretical/critical foundation for an understanding of what cinema has become in South Africa today.

    Find this resource:

Zimbabwe

There is no book-length study yet chronicling film production activities by Zimbabweans. However, during the colonial days the country played a major role in the British use of film to foster imperialism. Burns 2002 offers a penetrating examination of colonial cinema, specifically the British Colonial Film Unit.

  • Burns, James McDonald. Flickering shadows: Cinema and Identity in Colonial Zimbabwe. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2002.

    Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    An incisive historical overview of how colonial cinema aided British imperialism in Africa.

    Find this resource:

back to top

Article

Up

Down