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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Intersecting temporalities, cultural (un)translatability and African film aesthetics: Ntshavheni wa Luruli's 'Elelwani'
Author:Frassinelli, Pier PaoloISNI
Periodical:Journal of African Cultural Studies (ISSN 1369-6815)
Geographic term:South Africa
Venda language
About person:Ntshaveni wa LuruliISNI
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/13696815.2016.1223538
Abstract:This article presents a reading of the richly textured cinematography of the film 'Elelwani', that shows how the film is shot through with multiple intersecting temporalities. Adapted from a 1954 novel by Dr Titus Ntsieni Maumela, Ntshavheni wa Luruli's film version of 'Elelwani' zooms in on a seemingly marginal landscape to open up new possibilities for rethinking the present and reimagining the future. Using a distinctly 'minor' language (this is the first feature film ever shot in Tshivenda) and its setting in rural Limpopo, South Africa, 'Elelwani' reconstellates the past and the present through a radically utopian gesture: an attempt to reconcile the past with the present. Starting with these considerations about the intersection of temporalities evoked by the film, and also borrowing theoretical and political insights from African feminist scholarship, the article focuses on how 'Elelwani' disrupts linear constructions of time, along the lines of tradition giving way to modernity narratives, by foregrounding the complexities of translation across different cultural worlds and signifying systems. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]