Setting the stage for a critical encounter between Francophone African cinema and Continental European critical theory, this book offers a transnational and interdisciplinary analysis of 16 Francophone African films, including Bassek Ba Kobhio's The Great White Man of Lambarene, Cheick Oumar Sissoko's Guimba the Tyrant, and Amadou Seck's Saaraba.
The author invites readers to study these films in the context of transnational
conversations between African filmmakers and the conventional theorists whose
works are more readily available in academia. The book examines black French
filmmakers' treatments of a number of cross-cultural themes, including
intercontinental encounters and reciprocity, ideology and subjective freedom,
governance and moral responsibility, sexuality and social order, and
globalization. Throughout the work, the presentation of literary theory is
accessible by both beginning and advanced students of film and culture.
K. Martial Frindethie — K. Martial Frindethie is an associate professor of Francophone studies at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. An award winning author, his research interests include literature and film and the intersection of literature and political-ideological imagination.
Frindéthié, K. Martial. Francophone African cinema: history, culture, politics and theory. McFarland, 2009. 263p bibl index afp; ISBN 9780786439621 pbk. Outstanding Title! Reviewed in 2010mar CHOICE.
Moving away from more traditional thematic approaches, Frindéthié (Appalachian State Univ.; author of the acclaimed The Black Renaissance in Francophone African and Caribbean Literatures, CH, Dec'08, 46-1954) explores how African films and Western theory (e.g., Saussure, Deleuze, Lacan) interact with each other. By no means an overview of African cinematic production, this is a unique book with original insights. The author divides the first third of the book into six short chapters and in each analyzes one or two key African films (produced both north and south of the Sahara) through the lens of various theoretical approaches. He devotes the last two-thirds of the book to longer discussions of economy, society, and culture in ancient Africa; French colonization and imperialism, especially in Côte d'Ivoire; and the cruel politics of exploitation of King Leopold II and Belgium in the Congo. These long discussions are more than contextual backgrounds for the films discussed in the chapters; they actually constitute their core. The originality of the book is matched by the breadth and depth of its author's knowledge not only of African cinema but also of politics, culture, theory, and history.
Summing Up: Essential. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. -- S. Vanbaelen, Butler University