Postcolonial Film: History, Empire, Resistance examines films of the later twentieth and early twenty-first centuries from postcolonial countries around the globe. In the mid twentieth century, the political reality of resistance and decolonization lead to the creation of dozens of new states, forming a backdrop to films of that period. Towards the century’s end and at the dawn of the new millennium, film continues to form a site for interrogating colonization and decolonization, though against a backdrop that is now more neo-colonial than colonial and more culturally imperial than imperial. This volume explores how individual films emerged from and commented on postcolonial spaces and the building and breaking down of the European empire. Each chapter is a case study examining how a particular film from a postcolonial nation emerges from and reflects that nation’s unique postcolonial situation. This analysis of one nation’s struggle with its coloniality allows each essay to investigate just what it means to be postcolonial.
Table of Contents
Introduction: New Perspectives on Postcolonial Film Rebecca Weaver-Hightower Part I: New Readings of Twentieth Century Anti-Colonial Resistance Narratives 1. Yesterday’s Mujahiddin: Gillo Pontecorvo’s The Battle of Algiers (1966) Nicholas Harrison 2. The Sound of Broken Memory: Assia Djebar’s The Nuba of the Women of Mount Chenoua (1977) Sarah E. Mosher 3. Approximate Others: Peter Weir’s The Last Wave (1977) Jerod Ra’Del Hollyfield 4. Life as an Ocean: Hou Hsiao-hsien’s The Puppetmaster (1993) Stephen Spence Part II: Millennial Tropes of NeoEmpire 5. Shifting Sands, Imaginary Space, and National Identity: Cédric Klapisch’s Peut-être (1999) Jehanne-Marie Gavarini 6. No Chains on Feet or Mind: Jean-Claude Flamand Barny’s Nèg Maron (2005) Meredith Robinson 7. A Cinema of Conviviality: Ray Lawrence’s Jindabyne (2006) Corinn Columpar 8. Déjà vu All Over Again: Guy Maddin’s My Winnipeg (2007) Cynthia Sugars Part III: New Imaginations of Neo-Postcolonialism 9. Identity and The Politics of Space: Fatih Akin’s The Edge of Heaven (2007) Vuslat Demirkoparan 10. Space and Cultural Memory: Te-Shen Wei’s Cape No.7 (2008) Yu-wen Fu 11. The Postcolonial Hybrid: Neill Blomkamp’s District 9 (2009) Rebecca Weaver-Hightower 12. The Marginal Interventionist Cinema of Budhan Theatre: Dakxin Bajrange Chhara’s The Lost Water (2008/2010) Henry Schwarz 13. Afterword: History, Empire, Resistance Ella Shohat and Robert Stam
Rebecca Weaver-Hightower is an Associate Professor of English specializing in postcolonial studies at the University of North Dakota. She is author of Empire Islands: Castaways, Cannibals and Fantasies of Conquest (2007), Frontier Fictions: Settler Sagas and the Origins of Postcolonial White Guilt (in progress), and Associate Editor of The Journal Of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies.
Peter Hulme is a Professor in Literature at the University of Essex and author, most recently, of Cuba’s Wild East: A Literary Geography of Oriente. He is Assistant Editor of the journal Studies in Travel Writing.
"This volume of essays brilliantly creates the groundwork for a truly international discussion. Film and its centrality to the ongoing colonial and postcolonial debates in and between countries across the globe is its focus. The many scholarly and accessible essays here will open readers’ eyes to the truly global reach of film, and to the urgency of creating equitable postcolonial cultures." – Lyn McCredden, Deakin University, Australia
"This collection of essays engages with traditional discourses in postcolonial studies in the light of recent developments pertaining to globalization, a post-9/11 security planet, Islamic terrorism, infra-nationalisms, and intense nomadism of populations. It is long awaited." – Anustup Basu, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA