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Visions of female emancipation: three recent films from West Africa

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Abstract:

Although female directors are hugely underrepresented in the West African film industries, as is the case in film industries the world over, an increasing number of women are directing documentaries, shorts and fiction feature films. Female directors from West Africa often foreground female themes in their films and place female characters at the centre of their filmic narratives, focusing on issues such as motherhood, generational knowledge and difference, female solidarity and collectivity, and gender complementarity. This article analyses three recent films from West Africa directed by women one short, one fiction feature film and one documentary which are all set in rural Burkina Faso. The article proposes that the central focus on women in the three films should be regarded as significant progressive acts that ultimately become visions of female emancipation in West Africa.

Keywords: African cinema; Burkina Faso; FESPACO; Senegal; female film-making; gender complementarity; motherhood

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1386/jac.2.1.37_1

Affiliations: University of Stirling, Africa in Motion.

Publication date: 2010-07-01

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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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