African Film Studies: An Introduction is an accessible and authoritative textbook on African cinema as a field of study. The book provides a succinct and comprehensive study of the history, aesthetics, and theory of sub-Saharan African cinematic productions that is grounded in the field of film studies instead of textual interpretations from other disciplines.
Bringing African cinema out of the margins into the discipline of mainstream film studies and showcasing the diverse cinematic expressions of the continent, the book covers:
- Overview of African cinema(s): Questions our assumptions about the continent’s cinematic productions and defines the characteristics of African cinema across linguistic, geographic, and filmic divides.
- History of African and African-American cinema: Spans the history of film in Africa from colonial import and ‘appropriation of the gaze’ to the quest for individuality. It also establishes parallels in the historical development of black African cinema and African-American cinema.
- Aesthetics: Introduces new research on previously unexplored aesthetic dimensions such as cinematography, animation, and film music.
- Theoretical Approaches: Addresses a number of theoretical approaches and critical frameworks developed by scholars in the study of African cinema
All chapters include case studies, suggestions for further reading, and screening lists to deepen the reader’s knowledge with no prior knowledge of African cinema required. Students, teachers, and general film enthusiasts would all benefit from this accessible and engaging book.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. What Is African Cinema? Case Study: Aristotle’s Plot (Jean-Pierre Bekolo, 1996)
Part I: History of African Cinema. 2. History of the film medium in Africa: From colonial import and appropriation of the gaze to the quest for individuality Case study: Sanders of the River: Celebration of the British Empire(Zoltan Korda, 1935) 3. Parallel Movement: African Cinema and African American Cinema Case Study: Yeelen vs. Daughters of the Dust Souleymane Cissé , 1987) vs. Daughters of the Dust (Julie Dash, 1991)
Part II: Aesthetics in African Cinema. 4. Cinematography: Space, Time, and Rhythm Case Study: Yaaba (Idrissa Ouédraogo, 1989) 5. The African Animated Film Case study: Prince Loseno (Jean-Michel Kibushi Ndajte Wooto, 2004) 6. Introductory Study of African Film Scores African Film Scores Case study Non-diegetic music: Space and time dimensions of film music in Sembè ne Ousmane’s La Noire de… (Black Girl)
Part III: African Film Criticism 7. Critical Reading Lenses in the Study of African Cinema Case Study: Les Saignantes/The Bloodettes (Jean-Pierre Bekolo, 2005)
Boukary Sawadogo is Assistant Professor of Cinema Studies at the City University of New York –City College. His teaching and research interests concern aesthetics, distribution, popular film genres, culture, and gender in African film. He has published extensively on African cinema.