tradition from generation to generation. This is an essential part of how powerful the medium of film can be in Africa; it is more effective in societal change than books, literature, or anything involving literacy. African film goes beyond its function in western culture; it serves a greater purpose particularly in the feminist fight, to the empowerment of women and advancements in education that would otherwise go unnoticed. When attempting to initiate the deconstruction of female norms in society, it is crucial to consider all methods of empowerment, and which would be most effective. In the case of Africa, critically constructed films would be the most effective way to initiate change in that society. To exemplify this point, I will examine two films written by African women, Neria (1993) and Sinking Sands (2011). The analysis of these films aims to show the importance of cinema in African culture, particularly to the feminist fight, and what it truly means to be an African feminist.
The notion that cinema is a modern form of traditional oral culture is essential to the feminist fight. Cinema is a decolonizing enterprise; in bringing traditional oral culture into the forefront of the narratives, the narratives contribute to the development of radical consciousness' (McLeod, 80). This concept is essential to the deconstruction of gender barriers.
[...] The issues of African women and Western women differ greatly and naturally the notion of feminism in each society takes on a different meaning. aim of feminism has been to establish the humanity of women women's fundamental equality to men where human rights are concerned since the ultimate goal of feminism is to have women recognized as unique individuals rather than as part of a stereotyped group.” (Dovey, 16) To have society recognize women as each their own person, not bound by cultural stereotypes, and capable of devising their own path without the permission of a man concisely summarizes the object of African feminism. [...]
[...] Overwrite Releasing Film. McLeod, Corinna .“Teaching Abberance: Cinema as a Site for African Feminism.” Journal of International Women's Studies (2011): 79-96. Web April 2013. Pillay, Maganthrie. Is Making the Black Woman's Agenda (2001): 61-65. Web April 2013. [...]
[...] Women are portrayed in the film as smart, strong and capable. The women at Neria's work stand behind her and vow to support her, “even if it means lying to my husband,” as one states. Her friend Connie gives her the name of a lawyer, a testament to female empowerment, to being independent and taking control of the injustices women face instead of passively letting the world tear them down. Neria believes so strongly in her convictions that she risks the disapproval of traditional members of society to fight for what she believes to be right. [...]
[...] based organization that works towards ending violence against women and addressed the needs for AIDS treatment & supports women's leadership; The African Women Development Fund, which encourages leadership and women empowerment in local communities; and The Ghana Musicians Association, among others. Just one example of how women in film can make huge impacts on the community by raising awareness to social injustices. Further examining these films through a feminist lens, we see a great shift in the female protagonist, as a strong character capable of controlling her future, and fighting for her beliefs. [...]
[...] The film received 10 African Movie Academy Award Nominations, Best Original Screenplay and Best Picture, among others. This is a particularly notable achievement as Leila Djansi wrote, produced and directed the film. Sinking Sands is a prime example of what African feminism aims to achieve, a film created by a woman given the same respect as a film of such caliber would be if it was created by a man. Throughout the film, the viewer watches the painful degradation of a relationship, based on Jimah's reaction to the incident that left the right side of his face with second-degree burns. [...]
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