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African FilmmakingNorth and South of the Sahara$
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Roy Armes

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780748621231

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748621231.001.0001

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(p.21) 2. Beginnings
African Filmmaking

Roy Armes

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter shows the nature of the varying strands of film production which existed in Africa at the time when post-independence feature filmmaking was established, in both the Maghreb and Sub-Saharan West Africa, in the mid-1960s. Foreign producers from Europe and the United States still use the rural landscapes of the Maghreb as locations for their films and, though the old colonial ideology no longer prevails, the works produced have as little relevance as ever to the realities of African life. A number of filmmakers in Morocco and Tunisia have taken the opportunity to gain some experience by working on these foreign features, but only very subordinate roles — as production managers or assistant directors — are open to them. The nature of the African industries which emerged in Egypt and South Africa show clearly how filmmaking is of necessity shaped both by overall national industrial development and by ideological factors: Islamic beliefs about morality, social responsibilities and gender relations, on the one hand, apartheid assertions and assumptions about race, on the other.

Keywords:   film production, Africa filmmaking, colonial cinema, Maghreb, Sub-Saharan West Africa, Egypt, South Africa

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