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Questioning African Cinema

Conversations with Filmmakers

2002
Author:

Nwachukwu Frank Ukadike
Foreword by Teshome H. Gabriel

Questioning African Cinema

The most comprehensive account available of filmmaking in Africa today

Diverse in their art, paradoxically more celebrated abroad than they are at home, African filmmakers eke out their visions against a backdrop of complex historical, social, economic, and political practices. The richness of their accomplishments emerges with compelling clarity in this book, in which African filmmakers speak candidly about their work.

Questioning African Cinema provides a road map for the exploration of an African cinema and aesthetics. Ukadike takes the reader on a journey with filmmakers from twelve countries, exploring the compelling issues surrounding African film production, distribution, and storytelling.

Pearl Bowser, coauthor of Writing Himself into History: Oscar Micheaux, His Silent Films, and His Audiences

Diverse in their art, paradoxically more celebrated abroad than they are at home, African filmmakers eke out their visions against a backdrop of complex historical, social, economic, and political practices. The richness of their accomplishments emerges with compelling clarity in this book, in which African filmmakers speak candidly about their work.

Featuring interviews with key personalities from twelve nations, Questioning African Cinema provides the most extensive, comprehensive account ever given of the origins, practice, and implications of filmmaking in Africa. Speaking with pioneers Med Hondo, Souleymane Cissé, and Kwaw Ansah; renowned feature filmmakers Djibril Mambéty, Haile Gerima, and Safi Faye; and award-winning younger filmmakers Idrissa Ouedraogo, Cheick Oumar Sissoko, and Jean-Pierre Bekolo, N. Frank Ukadike identifies trends and individual practices even as he surveys the evolution of African cinema and addresses the politics and problems of seeing Africa through an African lens. Situating the unique achievement of each filmmaker within the geographic, historical, social, and political context of African cinema, he also explores questions about acting, distribution and exhibition, history, theory and criticism, video-based television production, and television’s relationship to independent film.

Questioning African Cinema

N. Frank Ukadike is associate professor of film and of African and African diaspora studies at Tulane University.

Questioning African Cinema

Questioning African Cinema provides a road map for the exploration of an African cinema and aesthetics. Ukadike takes the reader on a journey with filmmakers from twelve countries, exploring the compelling issues surrounding African film production, distribution, and storytelling.

Pearl Bowser, coauthor of Writing Himself into History: Oscar Micheaux, His Silent Films, and His Audiences

Offering interviews with twenty African filmmakers from seventeen different countries, Frank Ukadike’s Questioning African Cinema is an important resource, for its intelligent and sometimes quite animated discussions with directors as well as the useful biographical sketches and filmographies that frame each entry.

South Central Review

An introduction to so many film makers. The sadness is that so few of these are known. This volume should go a long way to remedying that lack.

Communication Research Trends

Questioning African Cinema

Contents

Foreword: A Cinema in Transition, a Cinema of Change Teshome H. Gabriel
Preface

Acknowledgments

Introduction

PART I. THE TRADITION: PIONEERING, INVENTION, AND INTERVENTION

Kwaw Ansah (Ghana)
Souleymane Cissé (Mali)
Safi Faye (Senegal)
Gadalla Gubara (Sudan)
Med Hondo (Mauritania)
Lionel Ngakane (South Africa)
Chief Eddie Ugbomah (Nigeria)

PART II. VISION AND TRENDS

Flora Gomes (Guinea-Bissau)
Gaston Kaboré (Burkina Faso)
Djibril Diop Mambety (Senegal)
Ngangura Mweze (Congo)
Idrissa Ouedraogo (Burkina Faso)
Brendan Shehu (Nigeria)
Cheick Oumar Sissoko (Mali)

PART III. BOUNDARIES AND TRAJECTORIES

King Ampaw (Ghana)
Jean-Pierre Bekolo (Cameroon)
Salem Mekuria (Ethiopia)
Haile Gerima (Ethiopia)
Ramadan Suleman (South Africa)
Jean-Marie Teno (Cameroon)
Distributors of African Films in the United States