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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Authorship and criticism in self-reflexive African cinema
Author:Beus, YifenISNI
Periodical:Journal of African Cultural Studies (ISSN 1369-6815)
Geographic term:Africa
About persons:Mahamet-Saleh Haroun
Fanta Régina NacroISNI
Abderrahmane Sissako (1961-)ISNI
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/13696815.2011.637883
Abstract:Many theories and criticisms have been devoted to analysing various modes and themes of presentation in a postcolonial context in dealing with African cinema. Topics range from authenticity, cultural identity, decolonization, to the influence of oral tradition on cinema. However, little has been said about a type of criticism that comes from within cinema itself through a reflexive directorial intrusion. As a political tool to address continual cultural imperialism of the former colonial power and as a type of criticism on cinema as an art form, self-referentiality is often overlooked, and yet is capable of travelling freely between the filmmaker and the spectator like an organic agency that inherently resides within to manifest itself as criticism, to satirize, and to self-deconstruct in the Derridaian sense the very process of filmmaking. This article examines the self-critiquing nature of Abderrahmane Sissako's 'La Vie sur terre' (Mali, Mauritania and France, 1998), Mahamat-Saleh Haroun's 'Bye Bye Africa' (Chad, 1999), and Fanta Régina Nacro's 'Un certain matin' (Burkina Faso, 1992) and argues that these directors, despite intra and international differences in their creative circumstances, display a common mechanism in critiquing African cinema by laying bare in the Brechtian sense the process of filmmaking while retaining their aesthetic traits. Through reflexive cinema, they reaffirm the agenda to narrate in the voice of a griot (whose role is also to provide criticism and commentary in the oral tradition) and paradoxically display the realities of filmmaking in Africa today. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]