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Survival Instincts: Resistance, Accommodation and Contemporary African Cinema

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This overview of contemporary Sub-Saharan African cinema identifies survival' and universalism' as conceptual categories through which its overtures to the Euro-American market are articulated. While the current orientation is not premised on any rigid or aesthetic markers, it appears that, generally, the films seek to establish appeal' not in relation to essential cultural norms', as was the case earlier, but with the transformation of those norms' through cultural contestation and negotiation. Thus, while the constitutive features of contemporary African cinema, more than ever, are linked to commercialism', questions and tensions abound since those features are situated amidst complex registers that are theoretical, cultural and representational. In examining the ambiguities and conflictual precepts emanating from the current shift in representational sensibilities, this paper interrogates the prospects for the commercial development of Sub-Saharan African cinema.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 1997

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