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Title:Violence in Souleymane Cissť's films: a cultural perspective
Author:Stefanson, BlandineISNI
Periodical:Journal of African Cinemas
Geographic term:Mali
About person:Souleymane CissťISNI
Abstract:This article looks at the cultural and historical sources of paternal wrath in five feature films - Den Muso, Baara, Finyť, Yeelen, and Waati - made by Malian filmmaker Souleymane Cissť between 1975 and 1995. These movies depict the conflict with patriarchal tyranny within the family or in the public sphere. In all five films, young victims attempt to escape their tyrant by returning home to confront him on his own territory. The article first deals with shooting locations and the mental appropriation of space. Second, historical precedents of the paternal urge to kill an offspring are traced back to African epics, for example the story of Karamoko's execution by his father, Emperor Samori. Finally, the Mande oppositional concepts of 'fadenya' (male rivalry) and 'badenya' (female cooperation) serve as landmarks in Cissť's quest for improved governance and socialization. As Cissť tempers his indictment of African violence with elliptical and metaphorical cinematography, the author opted for a cultural approach to elucidate the social and political meaning of aesthetic emotion. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]