Women as Tireless Goddesses, Super-Humans and Geniuses in the African Alternative Cinema
International Journal of Information and Communication Sciences
Volume 2, Issue 5, October 2017, Pages: 68-74
Received: Apr. 10, 2017;
Accepted: May 13, 2017;
Published: Oct. 24, 2017
Views 1753 Downloads 60
Lawrence Ekwok, Department of Theatre and Media Studies, University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria
Given male domination of the cinema medium, women portrayal in films has dominantly been stereotypical. This trend has been observed even in the African cinema. To counter this trend, a number of theorists and feminist schools of thought have proffered the African alternative cinema movement which insists on women writing their story by themselves so as to correct patriarchal portrayals of women in films. This paper seeks to critically examine this movement with respect to realism. Based on observation and a critical analysis of some Ghanaian and Nollywood films directed by females, it argues that the alternative African cinema may orchestrate a portrayal of women which is more utopian than realistic. Though having the potential to pertinently question the status quo – which is still highly detrimental to women – such a cinematic movement may somehow depart from factual or empirical reality about African women to rather construct and sell a dreamed – but unrealistic – image of the African woman.
Women as Tireless Goddesses, Super-Humans and Geniuses in the African Alternative Cinema, International Journal of Information and Communication Sciences.
Vol. 2, No. 5,
2017, pp. 68-74.
Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film (2014). It is a Man’s (Celluloid) World. San Diego: Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film.
Lang, Brent (2015). Study Finds Fewer Lead roles for Women in Hollywood. Vareity, available [online] at http://variety.com/2015/film/news/women-lead-roles-in-movies-study-hunger-games-gone-girl-1201429016/ Accessed on the 30/04/2016.
Endong, Floribert P. C. (2017). The Female Media Producer as an Advocate of Women Empowerment in Nigeria: The Cross River Experience. Gender Studies, 7 (1), 168-183.
Ellerson, Beti (2004). Visualising Herstories: Towards an Introduction to African Cinema Studies. Retrieved June 10, 2016, from http:www.visualising-herstories.htm.
Owusu, Osei Joyce (2011). Researching Ghanaian Women in Cinema. African Women in Cinema Blog. Retrieved June 10, 2016, from http://africanwomenincinema.blogspot.com.ng/2011/08/joyce-osei-owusu-researching-ghanaian.html.
Dovey, Lindiwe (2014). New Looks: The Rise of African Women Filmmakers. Feminist Africa, 16, 18-38.
Shaka, Femi Okiremuette & Uchendu, Ola Nnennaya (2012). Gender Representation in Nollywood Video Film Culture. The Grab: Journal of Theatre and Media Arts, 7, 1- 30.
Agbese, Aje-Ori (2012). Setting the Agenda for Women’s Liberation and Empowerment in Nigeria through Movies: An Analysis of Women’s Cot, Woman in Power and The Bank Manager. SMC: Journal of Cultural and Media Studies, 2 (1), 73-100.
Tari, Sikoki (2014). Shedding Light on the Dark. Interrogating Representations of Africa and Its Women. Female Artists’ Exhibition and Workshop. Deconstructing the Politics of Sexuality, (pp. 7-15), Lagos: Female Artist Foundations.
Okunna, Chinyere Stella (1996). Portrayal of Women in Nigerian Home Video Films: Empowerment or Subjugation? African Media Review, 10 (3), 21-36.
Badoe, Yaba; Mama, Amina & Mekuria (2014). Editorial: African Feminist Engagements with Film. Feminist Africa, 16, 1-7.
Diawara, Manthia (2010). New Forms of Aesthetics and Politics. Munich, Berlin, London and New York: Prestel.
Mbembe, Achille (2000). De la Poscolonie: Essai sur l’Imagibation Politique dans l’Afrique Contemporaire. Paris: Karthala.
Leal, Riesco Beatriz (2013). The Woman in Contemporary African Cinema: Protagonism and Representation, BUALA, Available [online] at http://www.the-woman-in- contemporary-african-cinema-protagonism-and-representation_BUALA.htm Accessed on 04/05/2016.
Bazin, Andre (2003). “The Myth of Total Cinema”. In A. Bazin (Ed), What is Cinema? California: California University Press, 234-239.
Mckibbin, Tony (2015). Cinema Reality. Available [online] at http://www.tonymckibbin.com Accessed on the 4/05/206.
Todd, Gitlin (2001). Media Unlimited: How the Torrent of Images and Sounds Overwhelms Our Lives, New York: Palgrave.
Korman, Becky (2007). “African” Cinema: A Comparative Look at Blood Diamond and Ezra. OFF SCREEN: The Experience of Cinema, 11 (6), 117-136.
Sagisson, Lucy and Burns, Tony (2015). Research: Utopianism, Realism and Ideal Theory. Concept. Available [online] at http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/concept/research/utopianismrealismidealtheory.aspx Accessed on 4/05/2016.
Sabrina, Mach and James, Page (2009). Utopians and Idealists: Who Can Handle Innovations ? Johnny Holland Magazine, 17, 66-80.
Smith, Anne Collins & Smith, Owen M. (2011). Pragmatism and Meaning: Assessing the Message of Star Trek: The Original Series. Participations: Journal of Audience and Reception Studies, 8 (2), 74-85.
Saratu, Abiola (2016). Re-Imagining Ourselves: Music, Film and the Representation of Nigerian Women. Africa Speaks for Africa: Perspective from a Diverse Continent. Available [online] at http://africaspeaks4africa.org/re-imagining-ourselves-music-film-and-the-representation-of-nigerian-women/ Accessed on the 01/05/2016.
Endong, Floribert Patrick C. (2017). Nollywood and the Nigerian Image Crisis. Journal of Globalization, 9 (1), 13-28.
Emem-Obong, Inyang Lucia (2011). Promoting Women’s Awareness Toward Change in Nigeria: The Role of Literature. MA Thesis presented to the School of Communication, Simon Fraser University.
Hobson Janell (2015). Selma Shows Why we Need Moe Black Women Filmmakers. Ms. Magazine. Retrieved June 10, 2016, from http://africanwomenincinema.blogspot.com.ng/2011/08/joyce-osei-owusu-researching-ghanaian.html.