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Nollywood and the idea of the Nigerian cinema

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Nollywood films are among the most visible cinematic forms in the world today, just behind India's Bollywood in the sheer quantity of films released. They are also attaining an unprecedented level of technical sophistication. This article appraises Nollywood's current vitality, but in relation to the celluloid-formatted films produced in Nigeria in the 1970s and the 1980s, which, it argues, continue to inform the aesthetic and ethical principles of the globally circulating works. Taking a film, Hostages I & II (1996a), as occupying the middle ground between the two cinematic traditions, the article proposes that the exhaustion of the celluloid films reflected the asynchrony between the discourses of modernization and the national discourses in Nigeria, but that Nollywood represents an open-to-the-world opportunity to advance the discourses.
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Keywords: Hostages; Nollywood; celluloid films; modernization; national cinema; national discourse

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Indiana University, Bloomington

Publication date: August 1, 2012

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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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