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A transnational feminist rereading of post-Third Cinema theory: The case of Maghreb documentary

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The pioneering women making documentaries in the Maghreb – Selma Baccar, Assia Djebar, and Izza Génini – started their careers in the 1970s and 1980s. Their formative years as artists were rooted in an era in which global social movements took to the streets. Two vital manifestoes on film in the Third World and in the Arab world appeared in this context at the end of the 1960s. It is in this light that the early documentaries by Selma Baccar, Assia Djebar and Izza Génini are contextualized. Younger documentarists from the Maghreb have reacted against certain tendencies in their predecessors’ films, or have precisely taken on their politically engaged aesthetic directions. This article looks in detail at the developments of documentary making in the Maghreb since the 1970s, dispelling the myth that there is no freedom of speech or that there are no women making politically activist documentaries in this region
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Keywords: Maghreb; New Arab Cinema; Third Cinema; censorship; documentary; women film-makers

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of St Andrews

Publication date: October 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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