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The rise of the African musical: postcolonial disjunction in Karmen Geï and Madame Brouette

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This essay explores the rise of the film musical as a unique vehicle for artistic expression by African film-makers. In particular, the essay deals with the films, Karmen Geï and Madame Brouette and considers the ways in which both films employ this genre as a means of investigating social and political issues affecting postcolonial Senegalese culture. Furthermore, the African musical brings with it new ideological, visual and narrative strategies that are expanding the cinematic grammar of African cinema and creating a hybridized form. The essay demonstrates how both films engage spectators in the struggle for existence within the postcolonial context, and by foregrounding the complexities of that struggle, create a debate and a call to action that seeks solutions from within African perspectives.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2009-07-01

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  • The Journal of African Cinemas will explore the interactions of visual and verbal narratives in African film. It recognizes the shifting paradigms that have defined and continue to define African cinemas. Identity and perception are interrogated in relation to their positions within diverse African film languages. The editors are seeking papers that expound on the identity or identities of Africa and its peoples represented in film. 
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