Luso-African cinema: nation and cinema, editorial of Journal of African Cinemas

Luso-African cinema: nation and cinema, editorial of Journal of African Cinemas Substantial research has been dedicated to post-colonial productions in African Studies, Postcolonial Studies and Film Studies. Francophone and Anglophone film productions have been extensively assessed in academic writings; however there is a lack of critical research on the subject of Lusophone cinemas and co-productions. This special issue of Journal of African Cinemas intends to address this shortfall in academic work by presenting a critical and informative body of research on the subject.

24.08.2012 | by Alessandra Meleiro

"Virgem Margarida", the insurgent spirit of women

"Virgem Margarida", the  insurgent spirit of women This spurs the women to defiantly band together to undertake a real revolutionary action and assert their independence from their "liberators." An evocative exposé of a little-known chapter in the contemporary history of Mozambique, Virgin Margarida is a dramatic and inspiring elegy to the insurgent spirit of women across nations, histories and cultures.

22.08.2012 | by vários

Photographic Heritage: Who Owns the Memories of "Before"?

Photographic Heritage: Who Owns the Memories of "Before"? All over Africa there is a certain revival of an industry of culture and memory, or perhaps even the cult of memory. And perhaps that's good news.

15.05.2012 | by Pedro F Marcelino

Black archetypes and stereotypes in brazilian films

Black archetypes and stereotypes in brazilian films A frequent charge made about Brazilian cinema by Black intellectuals and artists is that the films do not present truly individualized characters, but rather mere archetypes and/or caricatures. The accusation is pertinent, since Brazilian cinema generally favors character-types, schematic or symbolic, Black or not. In Black folklore in Brazil (1935), anthropologist Artur Ramos observed that orishas (African deities) “passed into Brazilian folklore and maintain close contact with the popular imagination, a magical and somewhat familiar contact, since they survive as symbols of individual complexes”. They appear as much in ancestral African religions (Candomblé), as in the Brazilian religion Umbanda, which absorbed other influences (e.g., indigenous, oriental).

24.03.2012 | by João Carlos Rodrigues

Rebuilding the Angolan body politic: Global and local projections of identity and protest in "O Herói/The Hero" (Zézé Gamboa, 2004)

Rebuilding the Angolan body politic: Global and local projections of identity and protest in "O Herói/The Hero" (Zézé Gamboa, 2004) This article uses a reading of Zézé Gamboa's award-winning 2004 feature as a basis for an exploration of post-conflict Angolan screen culture and of its impact both at home and internationally. It considers how O Herói‟s depiction of a war-torn nation, and of the impediments to its reconstruction, negotiates between a socially-engaged film-making practice, informed by local tradition and the tenets of „Third Cinema‟, and the demands of a globalised cinema market. The film achieves this compromise by deploying allegorical and symbolic tropes, familiar from the literature, cinema, and political discourse of the era of Angolan liberation (notably, the concept of a socialist „new man‟), to complicate a superficially optimistic story of post-conflict rehabilitation, and to insinuate a critique of the authoritarian practices and neo-liberal policies of the MPLA government.

19.12.2011 | by Mark Sabine

The woman in Contemporary African Cinema: Protagonism and Representation

The woman in Contemporary African Cinema:  Protagonism and Representation The variety of techniques and approaches to film in use in the present day impedes overarching judgments. Women’s increasing esteem and importance within the world of cinema has led to a diversity of intentions and perspectives; moreover, the character of global culture is such that the lines separating Africa from the West are no longer so clear as before.

06.12.2011 | by Beatriz Leal Riesco

The Sad Story of Our Films

The Sad Story of Our Films In Ethiopia films are financed entirely by private businessmen, who anticipate profit out of film production; in a best case, individuals who want to finance films for the love of the art and as a side business with less anticipation of big profit. Yet both groups of producers want to see their production at least covering its own cost and become a sustainable sector.

29.11.2011 | by Aron Yeshitila

Out at Sea - Production notes from the documentary film 'Letters from Angola'

Out at Sea - Production notes from the documentary film 'Letters from Angola' Carlos is the character I am most worried about. I’d only spent a few hours with him before, and I am not sure what he will reveal about his time in Angola and how that will fit into the film. He is a fisherman, his skin deeply tanned from a lifetime at sea.

01.10.2011 | by Dulce Fernandes

Dockanema 2011

Dockanema 2011 This year, as we embark on the sixth edition of Dockanema, my purpose is also one of remembrance, so that we do not forget the importance of documentaries in our society, and above all in our collective memory. To reaffirm this purpose once more, there could be no better choice for the opening of the 6th Dockanema than the Patrício Guzman film Nostalgia da Luz, in an edition intended to pay homage to the master filmmaker Ruy Guerra.

07.09.2011 | by Pedro Pimenta

The Role of Music in African Cinema

The Role of Music in African Cinema Even today, an analysis of the complex role of music in film is often forgotten by critics, many of whom remain prostrate before the dictatorship of the image. Yet as a manifestation of culture, music has a privileged position with respect to the study of representations of identity and ideology; moreover, in its subversive and dialogic aspects, it can reveal significant directorial decisions related to dynamics of power and exclusion.

16.05.2011 | by Beatriz Leal Riesco

20 Navios”, by Ruy Guerra. The Chronicle and its Melancholy.

20 Navios”, by Ruy Guerra. The Chronicle and its Melancholy. The writer of '20 Navios' speaks to us of the chronicle and its melancholy, opening with “This (rear?) Window”, where he probes his identitary affiliations - the aforementioned triangle-: “From this window before me, when night falls, and Lisbon turns to dust beneath the anonymous city lights, I may imagine myself in Maputo, Havana, or Rio, or whatever other of my stomping grounds, but I know now that I can never fool myself, because I am inevitably alone, with my afro-latin schizophrenia.

07.05.2011 | by Luís Carlos Patraquim

Cinema in francophone sub-Saharan Africa: from “Monstration” to contemporary storytelling

Cinema in francophone sub-Saharan Africa: from “Monstration”  to contemporary storytelling Documentary cinema in Africa more or less follows the same trajectory as African Literature. The methodologies and forms of expression are certainly different but the discourse on Africa remains the same, evolving with the continent’s history. In the 1920s, colonial reportage and ethnographic films were already a success. Africa and Africans were filmed subjects.

08.04.2011 | by Rufin Mbou Mikima

An approach to film making in Angola that is consistent, mature and upright, interview with Zézé Gamboa

An approach to film making in Angola that is consistent, mature and upright, interview with Zézé Gamboa Our interview takes place in Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro, where Zézé Gamboa and a few members of his team are resting for a few days after the intense shoot for his film “Grande Kilapy”, which tells the story of Joãozinho das Garotas, an Angolan during colonial times who engineered a sting with the colony’s finances. There’s just a week in Luanda left for the film to be ready for editing, following the takes in Portugal and Paraíba in Brazil, so this is the right time to weigh up the experience and bring to public attention some aspects of the work done by someone who is considered to be “the most consistent” of Angolan directors.

10.01.2011 | by Marta Lança

"Off-screen" project

"Off-screen" project Starting from original political determinations of Mozambican propaganda films, the Off-screen method induces or just identifies the unfolding of relational transformations that are raised basically from putting perception itself at play. It suggest that archive genealogy or any other documentary organization approach combines a relational process with a sizeable shift to the realm of the (political) present.

25.11.2010 | by Catarina Simão

Dockanema 2010

Dockanema 2010 Since its launch, the DOCKANEMA Festival has aimed to offer the different audiences in Maputo the twin opportunities of becoming acquainted with the best that is being produced in the world of documentary films and of taking a break from the run-of-the mill audiovisual diet that is available for the rest of the year.

20.09.2010 | by Pedro Pimenta

Dockanema: Reality surprised and reinvented

Dockanema: Reality surprised and reinvented Among the artistic and other disciplines that pursue the representation of reality, the documentary film is most certainly one of those that raise the most questions. Traditionally favouring a fragmented glimpse of the world around us, and of what arises from events, documentary films today pose problems and challenges for us, with the added difficulty of both attempting to fit it in to some predetermined type and of interpreting its message.

20.09.2010 | by Francisco Noa

Species of Spaces: Places, non-places and spaces of identity in the video work of Ângela Ferreira

Species of Spaces: Places, non-places and spaces of identity in the video work of Ângela Ferreira There is something transversal in Ângela Ferreira's video work, something that deals, fundamentally, with a kind of non-correlation between the concrete identity of the filmed places and its investment in open juxtapositions over a constellation of spacial axes and discontinuous temporalities. If territorial duality, inseparable from a certain biographical trajectory, from frequent journeys between Africa - Mozambique and South Africa - and Europe, undoubtedly marks Ângela Ferreira's work, it is precisely this territorial duality that has written history in the indeterminate space of video discourse, pointing to issues of geopolitics and exposing us, simultaneously, to the work of deconstruction of iconography and the colonial and postcolonial imaginary that is being systematically developed by the artist.

13.09.2010 | by Raquel Schefer

Angola film industry at a glance

Angola film industry at a glance Angola is a leading oil producer in Africa and one might have expected that some of the financial benefits of this valuable commodity would be passed onto the country’s film industry. Veteran Angolan filmmaker Mariano Bartolomeu provides an insight into the state of the film and television industry in this Portuguese speaking country.

14.08.2010 | by Martin Chemhere

"Behind the Rainbow" de Jihan El Tahri

"Behind the Rainbow" de Jihan El Tahri Behind the Rainbow explores the transition of the ANC from a liberation organization into South Africa's ruling party through the evolution of the relationship between two of its most prominent cadres, Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma. Exiled under apartheid, they were brothers in arms. Under Mandela they loyally labored to build a non-racial state. Now they are bitter rivals. Their duel threatens to tear apart the ANC and the country, as the poor desperately seek hope in change and the elite fight for the spoils of victory. Behind the Rainbow features key interviews with ANC current and former leaders, including Jacob Zuma, Thabo Mbeki, Kgalema Motlanthe, Pallo Jordan, and Terror Lekota.

06.06.2010 | by Olivier Barlet

África is a woman's name

África is a woman's name "Our Forbidden Places", an extraordinary documentary by Leila Kilani, returns to the political repression in Morocco in the time of Hassan II. Three generations of Moroccans evoke a completely human story of heroism and fortitude. Belying their serenity, all the characters form a perfect picture of Morocco today –they are still frightened by memories of being “buried alive” in Tazmamart prison and of countless cries of despair that few dared even to listen to. "Our Forbidden Places" is not really a film about a particular country, but rather it echoes all human memories of torment by extreme forms of state violence, be it blind or selective.

06.06.2010 | by Boubacar Boris Diop