A Guide to African Cinema

INTRODUCTION One might think that defining African Cinema would be an easy enough task. Spend a little time in the attempt, however, and the difficulty in doing so definitively soon becomes evident. A film set in Africa, shot in Africa by an African crew, and starring an African cast is certainly an example of African … Continue reading A Guide to African Cinema

A History of Black Cinema: 1915-1969

The Lincoln Motion Picture Company In most American silent films, minorities were generally played by white actors in make-up. When actual minorities were cast, roles were generally limited. Latinos in silent films usually played greasers and bandits; Asian-Americans played waiters, tongs and laundrymen; and blacks usually played bellboys, stable hands, maids or simple buffoons. Early … Continue reading A History of Black Cinema: 1915-1969

Cinema of Burkina Faso

Background on Burkina Faso What is now Burkina Faso has been continuously inhabited for at least 14,000 years. The main indigenous population of this Sahelian region were the Yonyonse, who remained for thousands of years until they were displaced by the Mossi people of what is now Ghana only a thousand years ago. The Mossi … Continue reading Cinema of Burkina Faso

Senegalese Film

During the Colonial era, cinematic images of Africa and its people were entirely the work of Western filmmakers. The Tarzan movies, African Queen, King Solomon's Mines and others were usually filmed on soundstages half a world away from Africa and made little to no effort toward authenticity, instead trading in exoticism aimed primarily at exploiting … Continue reading Senegalese Film

Black History Month & Black Cinema

  1915 Birth of a Nation was released. It was the most profitable American film of all time until Disney's Snow White & the Seven Dwarves (1937). In this critical darling, director D.W. Griffith dramatically depicts a mid-19th century south plagued by mulattos and abolitionists who scheme to keep the white man down and raise … Continue reading Black History Month & Black Cinema