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Art’s subtle, liberating ways: Violence, trauma and agency in Fanta Regina Nacro’s The Night of Truth (2004)

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Fanta Regina Nacro’s The Night of Truth (2004) is a graphic post-war political film that mediates the conflict between ethnicities within a nation state that has failed to appreciate its diversity as a gift. We analyse how the artists use cinematic means to challenge individuals and communities to cross the borders of sectarianism and intolerance in order to discover their shared need for freedom as a human race. We argue that although individuals and communities are often caught up in the prison of intolerance and divisionism, the ultimate desire of the human person is to be free to associate and make choices. Our central argument is that art has the power to foster agency, and to liberate individuals and communities in subtle and effective ways.
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Keywords: abjection; agency; fantasy; memory; mise en abyme; trauma; tyranny of the past

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Makerere University 2: Kennesaw State University

Publication date: April 1, 2015

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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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