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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Reframing African cinema and democracy: the case of Cameroon
Author:Tchouaffé, Jean OlivierISNI
Year:2009
Periodical:Journal of African Cinemas
Volume:1
Issue:1
Pages:57-77
Language:English
Geographic term:Cameroon
Subjects:cinema
filmmakers
democracy
Abstract:This article brings a political perspective to narratives of Cameroonian cinema in addressing the significance of filmmaking in democratization processes, grassroots communication practices and social movements in Cameroon from the 1960s to the present. The main argument is that the Cameroonian State, despite its meagre record in human rights, is far from being a monolith and that filmmakers are a vital part of the struggle for democracy. Cameroonian film production is interpreted as a means of initiation into political education and progress towards democracy. Social satire in the first generation (Jean-Pierre Dikongue Pipa and Daniel Kamwa) evolves into political awareness and opposition in the contemporary generation (Bassek Ba Kobhio, Jean-Pierre Bekolo and Jean-Marie Teno). Documentarian Teno holds the colonial regime responsible for the ingrained abuse of power and disregard for ordinary citizens in the neocolonial regime. The syndrome of the 'chief' within the family in the films of the 1970s (Pipa and Kamwa), or within State institutions in the films of the 1990s (Bekolo and Teno), is the target of an awareness campaign. Cameroonian cinema is promoting a civil society which, from the onset of independence, managed to keep alive indigenous practices of democratic consultation. The author trusts in the empowerment of young people under the guidance of filmmakers-cum-political-activists to recover the imagination necessary for creating a new social utopia. Bibliogr., filmogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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