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Reading: African film in the 21st Century: some notes to a provocation


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African film in the 21st Century: some notes to a provocation


Imruh Bakari

School of Media & Film, University of Winchester, GB
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As a transnational cinema event, the release of Marvel Studios’ Black Panther (2018)
is arguably a monumental moment in the African experience of cinema.
Coincidentally, this is followed in 2019 by the 26th edition of the bi-annual festival of
Pan-African cinema, FESPACO, which will mark fifty years of the festival’s existence.
In addition to the programme of screenings, African filmmakers, critics, theorists,
among others, are expected to gather in Ouagadougou to engage with issues of
memory, identity and the economy in relation to the idea of a sustainable and diverse
Pan-African cinema. These issues have long been prominently placed on the agenda
of those concerned with African filmmaking. That they remain a preoccupation of
current debates, suggests their persistence, and perhaps, an urgent need for these
debates to move beyond the metaphorical polarities of ‘dog eat dog’ and ‘dog eat
nothing’. These ‘notes’ are therefore, in anticipation of new perspectives that would
shape the futures of African filmmaking. Importantly, a perspective will be sketched
to help frame an approach to the idea of Pan-African cinema as a global and
transnational economy – cultural, financial and ideological.

How to Cite: Bakari, I., 2018. African film in the 21st Century: some notes to a provocation. Communication Cultures in Africa, 1(1). DOI:
Published on 07 Dec 2018.
Peer Reviewed


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