Skip to main content

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

Buy Article:

$18.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)

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 Heri'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. Further to this, the article identifies strategies through which the film advertises the gulf between its fiction of individual triumph over adversity and, on the other hand, the grimmer reality of Angola's post-conflict malaise. Finally, it considers how the film's construction of an encrypted allegory also prompts the question of whether or not film production that depends upon the funding and agendas of international capital and neo-colonial powers can ever foster the resurgence of a genuinely 'popular' and progressive culture in post-conflict Angola.
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Citation information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Article Media
No Metrics

Keywords: African cinema; Angola; human rights; national identity; post-conflict culture

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Nottingham

Publication date: 2012-03-01

More about this publication?
  • 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.
  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more