African Film: Re-Imagining a Continent

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9780253343505: African Film: Re-Imagining a Continent
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In African Film: Re-imagining a Continent, Josef Gugler provides an introduction to African cinema through an analysis of 15 films made by African filmmakers. These directors set out to re-image Africa; their films offer Western viewers the opportunity to re-imagine the continent and its people. As a point of comparison, two additional films on Africa—one from Hollywood, the other from apartheid South Africa—serve to highlight African directors’ altogether different perspectives.

Gugler’s interpretation considers the financial and technical difficulties of African film production, the intended audiences in Africa and the West, the constraints on distribution, and the critical reception of the films.

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About the Author:

Josef Gugler is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for Contemporary African Studies at the University of Connecticut.

Review:

...provides a succinct and thoughtful introduction to fifteen of the most widely-known films produced in Africa over the past four decades, including Xala, Keita, Finzan and La Vie est belle. - James E. Genova in RESEARCH IN AFRICAN LITERATURES ...not only a great treat for movie fans but a book that will enlarge any reader's horizons. - Joseph Cuneen in NATIONAL CATHOLIC REPORTER ...the book that many have been waiting for. Josef Gugler has composed a lively and loving handbook for African film aficionados and for those willing to be converted. Erudite without being stuffy, informative without being pedantic, Gugler condenses years of viewing and critiquing films into a dense but accessible compendium of stimulating observations. The format, replete with photos, film frames, reproductions of film posters and intriguing side notes, is extremely attractive. The cover design welcomes readers with the faces of the two smiling children from Yaaba/, which Gugler analyzes early and at length. The text is arranged in an orderly manner in six categories, primarily historical, and is preceded by a Table of Contents followed by a briefly annotated list of the main films, humorously entitled '17 films in 17 sentences'. An author's preface is followed by a useful chart of Basic Indicators for African Countries - all countries cited are south of the Sahara with some in this region not included. A simple map provides a further reference for the discussions of films spanning the continent. - Anne Serafin in AFRICAN RENAISSANCE and INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF AFRICAN STUDIES ... an easy read, suitable for those in tertiary institutions and the general reader... this study poses a critical and urgent question to African and Africanist scholars about the fate of African arts and cultures in the 21st century in the face of a rapidly globalising world where capitalism and market forces increasingly determine artistic and cultural production and circulation. - Tom Odhiambo in AFRICAN REVIEW OF BOOKS ...excellent reading for students and scholars of African cinema looking to understand the socio-cultural contexts of the African films discussed therein. MODERN AFRICAN STUDIES

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