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'Provoking situations': Abderrahmane Sissako's documentary fiction

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Abderrahmane Sissako employs both documentary and fictional narrative strategies in his films. This simple observation opens onto a broad consideration of Sissako's aesthetic vision and its poetic and political ramifications. The article argues that the hybrid narrative form is one element of a 'poetics of liminality' that plays out at many levels of Sissako's work. Liminal spaces and the thresholds that separate them permeate the work both formally and thematically. The result is a reflection on the limits and possibilities of cinema as an art form and on its ability to act as a mediator of messages and to do political work in the world.


Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/jac.3.1.93_1

Publication date: March 1, 2011

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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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