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Women in Film: African Filmmakers and Female Identity in African Cinema

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  1. Introduction
  2. African culture
  3. Women in film
  4. African filmmakers
  5. Female Identity in African cinema
  6. Conclusion

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. [...]


[...] Under British rule, African women were seen as the lowest of society, being African and female, putting them at a double disadvantage. To say that film functions as a ?decolonizing enterprise? is to say that the African peoples are taking hold of their own culture, and not submitting to imported culture from Western societies. Although no longer under external rule, Africa is still heavily influenced by Western culture. By instead paying attention to the creative products of their own peoples Africa can work toward a collective understanding of gender, and how tradition and modernity can be united to a feminist advantage. [...]


[...] Women in Film: African Filmmakers and Female Identity in African Cinema African culture is one based on oral tradition, the verbal handing down of 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. [...]


[...] ?Reflections on Cinema Criticism and African Women.? Feminist Africa: African Feminist Engagements with Film 16.1 (2012): 37-52. Web April 2013. Neria. Dir. Godwin Mawuru. CreateSpace Film. Sinking Sands. Dir. Leila Djansi. [...]

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