African Cinema

The art of film making was introduced in Africa in 1920’s but it was after almost 40 years that the surfacing of African film makers came into play. It was also during those times that the films reflected the social and the political realities to the Africans who were in the verge of attaining independence from their colonizers.

The themes were usually centered on nation building and the slashing down of colonial oppression.

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To start off with a analyzing the differences and the influences of the colonial and post-independent film making, it is wise to describe the previous film making scenes.  The film making industry scenario was highly influenced with the highlight of colonial sensibility as the main issue, later it then centered more on the stylistic nature of the art and with emphasis on abstraction and lastly, it evolved into the center theme for independence and opinions on the wide spectrum of the effects of colonialism.
In the early 1970’s the trend of the film making industry maintained an aggressive approach towards the promotion of sociopolitical freedom from colonial mentalities; but it also showed signs of revolutionary patterns such as the philosophies of communism, socialism and capitalism. Because of these themes that emerge in the African films, this further pushed forth for the exploration of various political systems and ideologies that gave rise to the Third World Cinema.
In the book by Teshome H. Gabriel entitled Third Cinema in the Third World – The Aesthetics of Liberation describe the ideas of Third Cinema as the perfect marriage of filmic experiences such as style and ideology.   He even went further by expressing the motives behind the production of the African movies as a way to express their ideologies towards various social issues and at the same time put forth a consciousness to the audience; in short these African film makers are activist rather than artists.
The main characteristics of films created by the new wave of African film makers and writers, is the painting of the wide contradiction between the political independence and the society’s present structure that they inherited from colonial influences.
Moreover, there are also the issues of running the state with bilingual orientations and the crossings that their culture has to endure further with the coexistence of different patterns of life in a single society.
Aside from this political weight, the direction of the African film making pointed out to Islam and how it thrived despite the domineering effects of foreign colonialism, and it is even more interesting to note that the religion spreads faster than independence.
During the African colonial years, film making did not center much on the emphasis of religion and its cultural effects and in fact this even went as far as manifestations of anti religious claims in the industry; however, this change with the rise of contemporary post colonial film making.
Other characteristics cited in this new type of movies is the revival of the connection between social opinion and social inclusion, that means to say that the protagonist in these stories are mostly social inclusion done in a narrative manner.
African directors used the films that they create in order to inculcate the culture of change; mostly these films shows the connection and the effects of the pre-colonial, the colonial and the post colonial societies in Africa.

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