Unisa Press

Gender Terrains in Africa Cinema

Author: Prof Dominica Dipio
Published: 2016-06-14 00:00:00.0
ISBN: 978-1-86888-735-4
Number of pages: 242
Prices: R 320 | $ 35 | £ 21 | € 26

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ISBN: 23524534
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About the book

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The highly talented author, Dominica Dipio was inspired by a desire to undertake this study from her interest in gender, and the increasing attention African cinema is drawing in the history of world cinemas. Attaining its identity in the 1960s, this cinema is characteristically a post-colonial art form. The first group of filmmakers and critics saw themselves, together with the political elite, as responsible for building their new nations and came up with a series of statements which underline what cinema should be in their contexts – an instrument for educating, decolonising the mind and developing critical participatory viewership. To some extent, the cinema continues the role of the griot with a difference.

The interests in this subject led the author to analyse how the cinema and the filmmaker are located within the predominantly patriarchal hegemonic structure as they address issues related to gender and, in particularly, the position of women in African communities. The central question is the representation of women and gender discourses in the cinema. The films selected for analysis are all directed by male filmmakers that are considered representative of African filmmaking. The films selected span from the 1970s to the 2000s. The focus is the comprehensive analysis of gender relations reflected in the portrayal of the girl child, the young woman and mature, as well as the grandmother, vis-à-vis their male counterparts.

Table of content

Filmography vii
Illustrations ix
Preface & acknowledgements xi

  1. Theoretical introduction 1
    Introduction 1
    Theoretical frames of African filmmaking 2
    The griot tradition
    Individual and popular traditions
    Challenges of categorising African cinema
    The issue of women
    African feminism 15
    Selected films and book structure 23
  2. Imaging the girl child 27
    Introduction 27
    Children in African colonial and traditional settings 29
    Pushing gender borderlines
    Mature actions and adult voices in children
    The politics of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C)
    Children in adult worlds 57
    Portrayal of children in synthesis 73
  3. Negotiating spaces within patriarchy 77
    Introduction 77
    Dismantling patriarchal logic 80
    The logic of bride price 90
    Female control and forms of protest
    Male perspectives of marriage within patriarchy