246 Pages
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Gender Terrains in African Cinema


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246 Pages


Gender Terrains in African Cinema reflects on a body of canonical African filmmakers who address a trajectory of pertinent social issues. Dipio analyses gender relations around three categories of female characters – the girl child, the young woman and the elderly woman and their male counterparts. Although gender remains the focal point in this lucid and fascinating text, Dipio engages attention in her discussion of African feminism in relation to Western feminism. With its broad appeal to African humanities, Gender Terrains in African Cinema stands as a unique and radical contribution to the field of (African) film studies, which until now, has suffered from a paucity of scholarship.



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Published 12 April 2019
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EAN13 9781920033392
Language English
Document size 6 MB

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To the affectionate memory of my father, Saturnino Bandhasi Okello, and my mother, Amelia Kalisa, who did not discriminate against their children and gave them the environment to dream.
About the Series he Afrîcan Humanîtîes Serîes îs a partnersîp between te Afrîcan Humanîtîes Program (AHP) of te Amerîcan Councîl of Learned Socîetîes and academîc publîsers NISC (Pty) Ltd*. he Serîes covers topîcs în Afrîcan îstorîes, languages, lîteratures, pîlosopîes, polîtîcs and cultures. Submîssîons are solîcîted from Fellows of te AHP, wîc îs admînîstered by te Amerîcan Councîl of Learned Socîetîes and inancîally supported by te Carnegîe Corporatîon of New York. he purpose of te AHP îs to encourage and enable te productîon of new knowledge by Afrîcans în te ive countrîes desîgnated by te Carnegîe Corporatîon: Gana, Nîgerîa, Sout Afrîca, Tanzanîa, and Uganda. AHP fellowsîps support one year’s work free from teacîng and oter responsîbîlîtîes to allow te Fellow to complete te project proposed. Elîgîbîlîty for te fellowsîp în te ive countrîes îs by domîcîle, not natîonalîty. Book proposals are submîtted to te AHP edîtorîal board wîc manages te peer revîew process and selects manuscrîpts for publîcatîon by NISC. In some cases, te AHP board wîll commîssîon a manuscrîpt mentor to undertake substantîve edîtîng and to work wît te autor on reinîng te inal manuscrîpt. he Afrîcan Humanîtîes Serîes aîms to publîs works of te îgest qualîty tat wîll foreground te best researc beîng done by emergîng scolars în te ive Carnegîe desîgnated countrîes. he rîgorous selectîon process before te fellowsîp award, as well as AHP edîtorîal vettîng of manuscrîpts, assures attentîon to qualîty. Books în te serîes are întended to speak to scolars în Afrîca as well as în oter areas of te world. he AHP îs also commîtted to provîdîng a copy of eac publîcatîon în te serîes to unîversîty lîbrarîes în Afrîca.
*early tîtles în te serîes was publîsed by Unîsa Press, but te publîsîng rîgts to te entîre serîes are now vested în NISC
AHP Editorial Board Members as at January 2019 AHP Series Editors: Professor Adîgun Agbaje*, Unîversîty of Ibadan, Nîgerîa Professor Emerîtus Fred Hendrîcks, Rodes Unîversîty, Sout Afrîca Consultant: Professor Emerîtus Sandra Barnes, Unîversîty of Pennsylvanîa, USA (Antropology) Board Members: 1 Professor Akosua Adomako Ampofo, Instîtute of Afrîcan Studîes, Gana (Gender Studîes & Advocacy) (Vîce Presîdent, Afrîcan Studîes Assocîatîon of Afrîca) 2 Professor Koi Anyîdoo, Unîversîty of Gana, Gana (Afrîcan Studîes & Lîterature) (Dîrector, Codesrîa Afrîcan Humanîtîes Instîtute Program) 3 Professor Ibraîm Bello-Kano, Bayero Unîversîty, Nîgerîa (Dept of Englîs and Frenc Studîes) 4 Professor Satî Fwatsak, Unîversîty of Jos, Nîgerîa (Dept of Hîstory & Internatîonal Studîes) 5 Professor Patrîcîa Hayes, Unîversîty of te Western Cape, Sout Afrîca (Afrîcan Hîstory, Gender Studîes and Vîsualîty) (SARCI Caîr în Vîsual Hîstory and heory) 6 Assocîate Professor Wîlfred Lajul, College of Humanîtîes & Socîal Scîences, Makerere Unîversîty, Uganda (Dept of Pîlosopy) 7 Professor Yusufu Lawî, Unîversîty of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzanîa (Dept of Hîstory) 8 Professor Bertram Mapunda, Unîversîty of Dar es Salaam, Tanzanîa (Dept of Arcaeology & Herîtage Studîes) 9 Professor Innocent Pîkîrayî, Unîversîty of Pretorîa, Sout Afrîca (Caîr & Head, Dept of Antropology & Arcaeology) 10 Professor Josepat Rugemalîra, Unîversîty of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzanîa (Dept of Foreîgn Languages & Lînguîstîcs) 11 Professor Idayat Bola Udegbe, Unîversîty of Ibadan, Nîgerîa (Dept of Psycology)
*replaced Professor Kwesî Yanka, Cental Unîverîty College, Gana, co-edîtor from 2013–2016
Published in this series
Domînîca Dîpîo,Gender terrains in African cinema, 2014 Ayo Adeduntan,WHat tHe forest told me: Yoruba Hunter, culture and narrative performance,2014 Sule E. Egya,Nation, power and dissidence in tHird-generation Nigerian poetry in EnglisH, 2014 Irîkîdzayî Manase,WHite narratives: he depiction of post-2000 land invasions in Zimbabwe, 2016 Pasca Mungwînî, Indigenous SHona PHilosopHy: Reconstructive insigHts, 2017 Sylvîa Bruînders,Parading Respectability: he Cultural and Moral AestHetics of tHe CHristmas Bands Movement in tHe Western Cape, SoutH Africa, 2017 Mîcael Andîndîlîle,he AnglopHone literary-linguistic continuum: EnglisH and indigenous languages in African literary discourse, 2018 Jeremîa Arowosegbe,Claude E Ake: tHe making of an organic intellectual, 2018 Romanus Abo,Language and tHe construction of multiple identities in tHe Nigerian novel, 2018 Bernard Matolîno,Consensus as Democracy in Africa,2018 Babajîde Ololajulo,UnsHared Identity:PostHumous paternity in a contemporary Yoruba community,2018
GENDER TERRAINS in African Cinema
Orîgînally publîsed în 2014 by Unîsa Press, Sout Afrîca under ISBN: 978-1-86888-735-4
hîs edîtîon publîsed în Sout Afrîca on bealf of te Afrîcan Humanîtîes Program by NISC (Pty) Ltd, PO Box 377, Graamstown, 6140, Sout Afrîca www.nîsc.co.za
NISC irst edîtîon, irst împressîon 2019
Publîcatîon © Afrîcan Humanîtîes Program 2014, 2019 Text © Domînîca Dîpîo 2014, 2019 All rîgts reserved. No part of tîs publîcatîon may be reproduced or transmîtted în any form or by any means, electronîc or mecanîcal, încludîng potocopyîng, recordîng, or any înformatîon storage or retrîeval system, wîtout prîor permîssîon în wrîtîng from te publîser.
ISBN: 978-1-920033-38-5 (prînt) ISBN: 978-1-920033-39-2 (PDF) ISBN: 978-1-920033-40-8 (ePub)
Project Edîtor: Tsegofatso Selodîmela Book Desîgner: Luba Qabaka Edîtor: Dîna-Marîe Steyn Typesettîng: Luba Qabaka Indexer: Hannalîe Knoetze Cover îmage:used under license from Shutterstock
Te autor and te publîser ave made every effort to obtaîn permîssîon for and acknowledge te use of copyrîgt materîal. Sould an înadvertent înfrîngement of copyrîgt ave occurred, please contact te publîser and we wîll rectîfy omîssîons or errors în any subsequent reprînt or edîtîon.
Preface & acknowledgements
1 Theoretical introduction  Introductîon Theoretîcal frames of Afrîcan ilmmakîng The grîot tradîtîon Indîvîdual and popular tradîtîons Challenges of categorîsîng Afrîcan cînema The îssue of women  Afrîcan femînîsm
Selected ilms and book structure
2 Imaging the girl child  Introductîon Chîldren în Afrîcan colonîal and tradîtîonal settîngs Pushîng gender borderlînes Mature actîons and adult voîces în chîldren The polîtîcs of female genîtal mutîlatîon/cuttîng (FGM/C)  Chîldren în adult worlds  Portrayal of chîldren în synthesîs 3Negotiating spaces within patriarchy Introductîon  Dîsmantlîng patrîarchal logîc  The logîc of brîde prîce Female control and forms of protest Male perspectîves of marrîage wîthîn patrîarchy
 1  1
15 23
27 27 29
57 73 77 77 80 90
Questîonîng foundatîonal myths and tradîtîonsFemale-vîrgîn sacrîice for communîty wellbeîng Female excîsîon and the myth of marrîage suîtabîlîty From îndîvîdual to communîty protest Women în polygamy Polygamous men’s ‘fatal’ attractîon to young, sophîstîcated women Women under new economîc challenges Husbands undeservîng of good wîves Women în prostîtutîon The femînîne în the publîc sphere Male vîctîms under patrîarchy Conclusîon
4 Positioning the elderly in gender relations  Introductîon Elderly women as centres of alternatîve authorîty  Male-female dynamîcs The elderly as harbîngers of change
5 Recurrent trends in gender representation in  African cinema  Introductîon Trends în the representaîon of women
Implîcatîons for ilm theory research
125 130
143 151 157
163 163 166 177 184
193 193 194 200
Alassane, M.Toula ou la Genie des EauxIFAN-CNRSH.76 min), (Niger 1973, Amoussou, S.Africa ParadisMetis Productions.(Benin 2006, 86 min), Bekolo, J.P.Aristotle’s PlotFramework67 min), JBA Production, (Cameroon 1996, International. _________Les SaignantesQuartier Mozart Films.97 min), (Cameroon 2005, Cissé, S.Den Muso88 min), Souleymane Cissé Films.(Mali 1975, _________Baara90 min), (Mali 1978, Souleymane Cissé Films _________Finye(Mali 1982, Souleymane Cissé Films.106 min), _________YeelenCentre National de la Cinematographie.(Mali 1987, 105 min), Dangarembga,T.Everyone’s Child(Zimbabwe 1995, Media for90 min), Development Trust. __________ Kware Kware Svako: Mother’s Day(Zimbabwe 2004, Nyeria30 min), Films. _________Growing StrongerNyeria Films.30 min), (Zimbabwe 2005, Dikongué-Pipa, J.P.Muna MotoCameroon Spectacle.(Cameroon 1976, 89 min), _________Le prix de la Liberte(Cameroon 1978, Cameroon Spectacle.90 min), Gamboa, Z.The Hero97 min), (Angola/France/Portugal 2004, David & Golias, Les Films de l’Apres-Midi, Gamboa & Gamboa Productions. Gerima, H.Harvest 3000 Years(Ethiopia 1976, Haile Gerima137 min), Productions. _________Bush MamaHaile Gerima Productions.97 min), (USA/Ethiopia 1979, _________Ashes and Embers(USA/Ethiopia 1983), Haile Gerima Productions. _________Sankofa124 min).(Burkina Faso/Germany/Ghana/USA/UK 1993, Hondo, M.Sarraounia120 min), (Mauritania 1986, Les Films Soleil O. Hood, G.Tsotsi2006, 94 min),The UK Film & TV Production(UK/South Africa Company PLC, et al. Kaboré, G.Wend Kuuni(Burkina Faso 1982, Direction du75 min), Gaston Kaboré, Cinema du Burkina Faso. _________Buud Yammin),Africa Film Library.(1997, 97