CINEMA ET MYTHES DANS L'ESPACE FRANCOPHONE: LES REPRESENTATIONS DES FIGURES HISTORIQUES DANS LES FILMS D'AFRIQUE NOIRE ET DES ANTILLES.
Publication or External Link
Beginning with a contextual characterization of the concepts of 'tragedy' and 'hero', this dissertation examines the various ways black filmmakers represent historical and political leaders of Francophone sub Saharan Africa and the Caribbean in their narratives. Eight movies are analyzed, including six from Africa --
David Achkar's Allah Tantou (1991), Med Hondo's Sarraounia (1986), Dani Kouyate's Keita. The Heritage of the Griot (1995), Raoul Peck's Lumumba. Death of a Prophet (1992), Cheick Oumar Sissoko's Guimba. The Tyrant (1995), Ousmane Sembene's Emitaï (1971) -- and two from the Caribbean -- Charles Najman's Royal Bonbon (2002) and Isaac Julien's Frantz Fanon: Black Skin White Mask (1996). The study explores the use of cinematic techniques overlaid by cultural codes to suggest on the one hand either a deep sense of anti-heroism on the part of some leaders or the exaltation of others' heroism, and on the other, the attitudes of female heroines in their oppressive environment.
In this respect, the analysis draws upon theoretical works of semioticians and structuralists such as Christian Metz, Jurij Lotman, Claude Levi-Strauss and Roland Barthes. It also focuses on film aesthetics as a way of addressing the meaning of tragedy in relation to the contextual components of these movies as well as the ideological positions of the filmmakers considered to be representatives of the voices of the margins. The work of Fanon, Césaire, Memmi, Luce Irigaray, Assia Djebar, Ella Shohat and other post-colonial or feminist theoreticians is used to highlight the analysis.
In sum, this study is meant to reflect the awareness of oppressive forces and ideologies at work in contemporary political and social arenas in Africa and its Diaspora. It also brings to light men and women's responsibilities for challenging and standing up to such forces.