SAC 440 Final Paper

SAC 440 Final Paper - If You Thought Finding Waldo Was...

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If You Thought Finding Waldo Was Hard, Try Finding an African Female Filmmaker …any African Female Filmmaker
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Sasha Wang SAC 440 African Cinema Scott Edmondson 12/14/10 It is predictable for a college student who chooses to search for African female filmmakers, along with actual footage of their films, to experience an emotional transformation from a state of optimism to that of frustration and failure. Perhaps it is easy for an ethnocentric American to assume that the development of African filmmaking has rapidly furthered feminism in African society and culture; in modernized societies, there is a strong correlation between media and culture. The optimistic American student hypothesizes that as African cinema has a purpose of communicating its culture and beliefs back to its native people, women are able to see themselves from a third-person perspective and reflect on how they may want to change their role in society. With a primary focus on Nigeria and Ghana, academic research shows that there is indeed a positive correlation, but not necessarily causation, between the growth of the film industry and the political development of 2
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feminist movements in Africa. The Third World continent still has plenty of obstacles to overcome in achieving gender equality. Yet, discourse on theater culture and women’s political movements in the 20 th and 21 st centuries is absolutely vital in predicting that Africa’s young film industry will eventuate progress for women in the future. The University of Michigan AskWith Media Library offers just a few African films by female filmmakers including Tsitsi Dangarembga's Everyone's Child (Zimbabwe, 1996), Fanta Regina Nacro’s The Night of Truth (Burkina Faso, 2004), and Dorothee Wenner’s Nollywood Lady (Nigeria, 2008), which are all fairly recent. Instead of dwelling on this shortage, footage was found of African films by male filmmakers who incorporated female characters and actresses into their films. In chronological order, these films include: Ousmane Sembene’s Black Girl (Senegal, 1966), Kenneth Nnebue’s Glamour Girls (Nigeria, 1994), Ishaq Sidi Ishaq’s Wasila (Nigeria- Hausa, 2000), Samuel Nyamekye’s Kumasi Yonko (Ghana, 2002), and Andy Chukwu’s Hot Money Trilogy (Nigeria, 2006). It is worth noting that the film and video industry in Africa is very young. Wang 3
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Nevertheless, before providing any feminist-related textual analyses of these films, one must gain knowledge of the culture and history that preceded the filmmaking industry. There seems to be more historical and political scholarly research on Ghana and Nigeria. In “A Literature Review: Nigerian and Ghanaian videos,” Jonathan Haynes says, “The Nigerian video industry and the Ghanaian video industry are twins, and the Ghanaian one is actually Ata Paynin or Taiwo --- the first born. The two cases are so closely parallel and intertwined that good work on either will be suggestive for everyone” (108). Haynes also mentions that even though Ghanaian cinema has a
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This note was uploaded on 01/18/2011 for the course SAC 440 taught by Professor Scottedmondson during the Spring '10 term at University of Michigan.

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SAC 440 Final Paper - If You Thought Finding Waldo Was...

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