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African FilmmakingNorth and South of the Sahara$

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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The French Connection

The French Connection

Chapter:
(p.53) 4. The French Connection
Source:
African Filmmaking
Author(s):

Roy Armes

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748621231.003.0004

Abstract and Keywords

Filmmaking south of the Sahara has long been a matter of concern for the French government. As a result, although we are dealing with films that often have a distinctly anti-colonial edge and a clear insight into postcolonial realities, it is impossible to understand the existence of these films without considering first the attitudes and policies of the former colonising power, France. This chapter discusses French aid to African filmmaking from 1980 to 2004. It then analyzes the output of films and filmmakers in the francophone countries north and south of the Sahara.

Keywords:   France, French government, African filmmaking, African films, filmmakers

It is less the case of a French aid policy serving the cinemas of the South, than of the latter being used to assist French cultural policy.

Raphaël Millet, 19981

French Aid (1): 1963–79

Filmmaking south of the Sahara has long been a matter of concern for the French government. As a result, although we are dealing with films that often have a distinctly anti-colonial edge and a clear insight into postcolonial realities, it is impossible to understand the existence of these films without considering first the attitudes and policies of the former colonising power, France. A good starting point is the concept of ‘Francophonie’. The word itself dates from the nineteenth century, but its modern political sense of a union of those countries where the French language is used in government, commerce, administration and culture has a part-African origin, in the thinking and policies of three post-independence presidents: Léopold Sédar Senghor (Senegal), Habib Bourguiba (Tunisia) and Hamani Diori (Niger). These national leaders were ‘preoccupied with maintaining privileged links with the former colonising power within the perspective of postcolonialism’.2 In world political terms, ‘la Francophonie’ is an organisation comparable with the British Commonwealth, present in all five continents and with forty-nine member states (twenty-six of them African) and three observers.

Africa has always been a key concern, since, as J. Barrat has observed, ‘Africa allows France truly to be a world power, and not just a European one’.3 As far (p.54) as cinema is concerned, Raphaël Millet captures the rationale of the French aid programme perfectly:

The French concept of patrimony is sufficiently wide to encompass cultural productions from the francophone area. Thus the francophone ‘cinemas from elsewhere’ (cinémas d'ailleurs) – even if they are in another language: Baoule, Wolof, Dioula, etc – become ‘French’ (the shift is easy), and can therefore be statistically integrated into the evaluation of the spread of French culture in the world.4

It must always be borne in mind that the relationship between France and its former African colonies is not one between equals. As Alphonse Mannée-Batschy and Berthin Nzélomona stress: ‘When one considers the economic exchanges between the members of “la Francophonie”, one is struck by the frightening imbalance benefiting the rich countries which are members’. As a result, Africa will ‘continue to play the traditional role of supplier of basic products and strategic raw materials in the process of globalisation and the international division of labour’.5

It is within such a framework that one needs to evaluate the multiplicity of bilateral and multilateral cultural links which bind the francophone countries, of which those specifically concerning cinema form just one part. Though French aid has been absolutely vital to the creation of African cinema, the actual sums involved are tiny in the context of the overall budgets of the ministries concerned (the French Ministry of Culture receives no less than 1 per cent of the overall French government revenues).6 In 1963 the French Ministry for Cooperation and Development, set up specifically to oversee cooperation between France and the African states, established a film bureau in Paris, headed by Jean-René Debrix. Like the parallel newsreel production set-up (the CAI), it was staffed by professional editors (among them Andrée Davanture), but it was equipped only with 16mm post-production facilities. Debrix ran the unit till 1978 and during his time the level of African production was so low that every film project could be given backing. An individual filmmaker simply had to turn up at the bureau. But Debri's successor, Jacques Gérard, found that, with both filmmakers and projects multiplying, choices had to be made and, as he says, ‘it was extremely strange for a French administrator to have to make choices about whether or not an African film should be produced’.7 In all, during the period 1963–75, 125 of the 185 feature and short films made in francophone Africa received French technical and financial support. Debrix claims that, none of these 125 films has been subject to censorship or rejection by the Ministry of Cooperation and its Bureau de cinéma.8 But he admits that he did refuse to back Ousmane Sembene's Black Girl/La Noire de …, a bleak picture of French postcolonial (p.55) attitudes, though the Ministry did subsequently buy the non-commercial distribution rights.

It was through the purchase, at a higher than normal price, of these non-commercial distribution rights – for showings in educational establishments in France and at French cultural centres in Africa – that the French government funding was organised. Any aid before production involved the employment of a French producer, who would control the finance, and post-production aid had to be spent in Paris laboratories or at the bureau's editing facilities: a typical example of an aid programme where the money returns to the donor nation and does nothing to create an infrastructure in the recipient nation. The initial result was also a curiously ghettoised body of films, made by individuals, often without reference to their respective national governments and cut off from normal commercial exhibition outlets in Africa (which were generally equipped for 35mm projection). Instead, the films were at the time available for viewing (in 16mm film or Umatic and VHS copies) through the film library of the Ministry of Cooperation and subsequently through Audecam. Now (a wonderful irony!) the archive is held by the Association pour la Diffusion de la Pensée Française (the Association for the Diffusion of French Thought), which conceals its identity under the acronym ADPF. In general, the films have seldom been available on African screens: this is, in a very real sense, a cinema of which France is ‘the principal producer and consumer’.9

It is hard to dispute Claire Andrade-Watkins's harsh judgement on sixteen years of French aid. She points out that the primary objective of France's postcolonial support was ‘to maintain the colonial legacy of assimilation, perpetrating and strengthening a Franco-African cultural connection through newsreels, educational documentaries and films of cultural expression produced by Africans and distributed and shown in non-commercial venues such as ciné-clubs, cinémathèques and French embassies throughout francophone Africa’.10 Debrix talks of the aim of ‘an African cinema free in its expression and creativity’,11 but even he seems doubtful of real achievements after a dozen years of administering the scheme, observing that ‘everything remains to be done in Africa in the area of cinema’.12 At times he even seems disparaging, describing African cinema as ‘a cinema of ideologues, a cinema for festivals’.13 Certainly this is a neutered cinema from which any real critique of French neo-colonialism or African corruption must of necessity be absent. It is ostensibly a cinema of cultural identity, but the definition of this identity is distinctly limited in social and political terms. A good example of what could nevertheless be achieved within this system of French aid is Jean-Pierre Dikongue-Pipa's picture of African traditional values in a rural society, Muna Moto (1975), which was shot in 16mm but blown up to 35mm, won prizes at festivals in Geneva and Paris, at FESPACO and the JCC, but was seen by only 3,000 spectators when it was shown commercially in Paris.14

(p.56) French Aid (2): 1980–2004

The first French scheme for aid to African filmmaking through the Ministry of Cooperation's film bureau was closed down in the last years of the Giscard presidency, but found new life in 1980 with the advent of President François Mitterand. Initially the French gave support to a number of pan-African projects: the leading African film festival (FESPACO), an African film school (INAFEC), an African film library (the Cinémathèque Africaine), a pan-African distribution organisation (CIDC) and its corresponding production consortium (CIPROFILM). Since all of these initiatives were located in the capital of Burkina Faso, Ouagadougou, this country became in effect the heart of African filmmaking. Aid for film production also resumed, but the focus of post-production facilities in Paris after 1980 was the independent company Atria, set up by Andrée Davanture specifically to support filmmakers north and south of the Sahara and funded by the Ministry of Cooperation and the French film centre (the CNC).

This decentralisation was typical of the way in which French aid was organised from the 1980s onwards. A key development was the establishment in 1984 of the Fonds Sud, funded jointly by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Culture, together with the CNC, with a specific brief to finance (with aid of up to 1 million francs per project) features for distribution in film theatres in France and abroad. In the first twenty years of its existence (to the end of 2004) the Fonds Sud helped fund some 322 films worldwide, in Latin America, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. Its impact on African filmmaking north and south of the Sahara has been enormous, with no less that 105 films receiving production assistance. By far the greatest amount of aid has gone to Tunisia (twenty-three films), followed at some distance by

Burkina Faso (fourteen), Morocco (twelve), Algeria and Senegal (both eleven), Cameroon and Ivory Coast (both six). Guinea, Mauritania, Congo and Chad have each had two films funded; Togo, Benin, Central African Republic and Gabon one each. Fonds Sud funding has been crucial for the development of the careers of certain filmmakers: Nouri Bouzid (Tunisia) has received aid for all five of his features, Idrissa Ouedraogo (Burkina Faso) and Cheick Oumar Sissoko (Mali) for four each of theirs.15

That funding from the Fonds Sud has been additional to that which could be obtained directly from the Ministry of Cooperation, from the Fonds d'Action Sociale (FAS), the Agence de Coopération Culturelle et Technique (or ACCT, later reshaped as the Agence Intergouvernementale de la Francophonie) and various other French sources such as the Fondation Gans pour le Cinéma, the Fondation Beaumarchais and the television organisation Canal+. Other European sources which have aided African production include the European Union itself (through the Fonds Européen de Développement (FED), part of (p.57) whose funding-thanks to French efforts-is reserved for filmmaking). There are also a number of private foundations such as the Dutch Fonds Hubert Bals and the Swiss foundations, Montecinemaverita and Stanley Thomas Johnson, to which filmmakers can apply. In addition, there is also a Canadian funding scheme, linked to the Montreal ‘Vues d'Afrique’ festival, the ‘Programme to Incite North-South Co-operation’, and further possibilities of funding from various European television companies. Success with one governmental agency often opens the door to others and encourages private foundations and French production companies to become involved. All of these multiple funding opportunities are in addition to whatever may be available locally in the filmmaker's own country. It is not unusual to find that an African film lists, in its credits, production companies from two or three different countries and support from half a dozen or more funding bodies.

Any African film that achieves funding therefore needs to satisfy a number of divergent foreign needs and interests. It must conform partly at least to European criteria as to what constitutes an ‘African’ film. From a Burkina Faso perspective, Teresa Hoefert de Turégano argues that ‘in essence the Franco-African exchange is far from one-directional and reveals a negotiated new Africanness’.16 But she ignores the most crucial of the demands made on African filmmakers, namely that, whatever language will be used in the eventual film, a full, dialogued production script in a European language (usually French) will be required by foreign backers. Until very recently it has also been helpful for an African filmmaker to have a production base in Paris in order to take full advantage of all available funding and distribution possibilities. The danger of such procedures is that what will result is a kind of internationalised ‘author's cinema’ (cinéma d'auteur), in which the crucial role the cinema can play in the affirmation of African identity is called into question or at least neutralised.

As far as French-funded productions were concerned, the arrangements after 1990 initially seemed to proceed as before. In 1991 three African features, all funded by the Ministry of Cooperation, shot in 16mm and edited at Atria, were shown in the ‘Un certain regard’ section of the Cannes festival. But later, Andrée Davanture notes, the situation changed: ‘in the 1990s, it seemed that the only films they favoured were those able to “meet” a French audience, to be presented at European film festivals, above all at Cannes. It's a defensible point of view, but it shouldn't be the only one’.17 Davanture's view is supported by Raphaël Millet, writing in 1998, who notes that ‘a selection for Cannes or a large [Parisian] audience is a symbolic success for the Agence de la Francophonie or the Fonds Sud, whose prestige and visibility are thereby increased’.18

In 1999 the whole pattern of French aid to African filmmaking took yet another turn. The Ministry of Cooperation was reabsorbed into the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry's previous direct aid scheme now became the Appui au Développement des Cinémas du Sud (ADCSud), which held its first (p.58) funding meeting in December 2000. Within this new governmental structure African filmmakers no longer had a privileged place and several collaborating organisations which had received funding through the 1990s – such as Atria – now found themselves abandoned. The level of aid (about 20 million francs a year) remained unchanged from the 1990s, but the fund was now open to a new and much wider ‘priority’ group, the so-called Zone de Solidarité Prioritaire (ZSP). Grants were given to filmmakers from other parts of Africa (Angola, Mozambique, Ghana, South Africa and Ethiopia), and also to directors from Lebanon, Iraq, Cuba, Vietnam and the Palestinian territories. Francophone Africa remained a priority, however, and sixty-five of the eighty-five films given funding between 2001 and 2003 were produced in the francophone countries north and south of the Sahara with which we are concerned here. In January 2004 the ADCSud was itself dissolved and replaced by the Fonds Images Afrique (FIA), targeted specifically at Sub-Saharan Africa. The new programme's stated aims are to enrich the programme rosters of television channels in the countries concerned (funding all types of production-telefilms, sitcoms, animation, video-clips, pilots for magazine programming, documentaries) and to increase the share of African fictional feature films in cinemas in Africa. The new scheme drew its funding from a range of sources: the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Intergovernmental Agency of the Francophonie, the European Commission and the French national film centre (CNC).

The official emphasis continues to be on the development of African cultural identities and once more there are no plans for any investment in African infrastructure. But in fact the work produced can be described as ‘exotic film with French cultural affinities’ and defined as ‘an adjunct to French cinema within a global struggle for existence in the film markets’.19 In furnishing funding for African film, the French government is indeed attempting to assert for itself a central role in world cinema. To quote Raphaël Millet again: ‘Going beyond the defence of its own national cinema (the French “cultural exception”), France affirms itself as a dynamic player in the whole landscape of world cinema’.20 This view is echoed by the government's own official justification for this aid programme. For example, Dominique Wallon, head of the short-lived organisation set up to promote and distribute African films, ‘Ecrans Nord-Sud’ (1998–2001), stresses the usefulness of such a scheme for French domestic film production:

Whether we're talking about Europe, the Maghreb or Black Africa, whatever the differences in cultural identity, there exist cultural familiarities, especially filmic ones, which mean that spectators who go to see Halfaouine [Ferid Boughedir's highly successful Tunisian feature of 1990]are more willing to see French films. It's evidence of the absolute solidarity of national cinemas resisting American pressure. Hence the strategy of helping co-productions, the projects with Africa and Eastern Europe.21

(p.59) The African Filmmaker

How does the individual filmmaker fare in this context so much defined by French government policies? If we look at the overall output of films in the francophone countries north and south of the Sahara, we find that just over 580 films have been made by about 270 filmmakers. The following tabulation – which ignores films shot and distributed on video – lists all fictional feature films to the end of 2004 in accordance with the filmmaker's nationality. It is based on commonly accepted listings and includes a few feature-length documentaries, which were widely seen and are regarded as particularly important, and a few works which, strictly speaking, are shorter than conventional feature length. The listing is shown in Table 4.1.

Table 14.1. African Film Production

Country

Population

Filmmakers

Films

First Feature

Benin

6.0m

5

9

1974

Burkina Faso

10.6m

20

40

1971

Cameroon

14.3m

13

31

1975

Central African Rep

3.5m

1

1

2003

[co-prod]

Chad

7.5m

2

3

1999

Congo

2.8m

4

5

1973

Gabon

1.3m

6

9

1971

Guinea

7.1m

7

14

1966

[2 collectives]

Ivory Coast

14.5m

13

36

1969

Mali

10.9m

11

25

1975

Mauritania

2.5m

2

9

1971

Niger

10.4m

5

12

1972

Senegal

9.2m

21

47

1964

Togo

4.5m

1

1

1992

Sub-Saharan Africa Total

Filmmakers

Films

111

232 (48% first films)

Country

Population

Filmmakers

Films

First Feature

Algeria

27.0m

53

125

1965

Morocco

26.0m

61

149

1968

Tunisia

8.5m

44

82

1966

Maghreb Total

Filmmakers

Films

158

356 (45% first films)

OVERALL TOTAL

Filmmakers

Films

269

588 (46% first films)

(p.60) The tabulation of production to the end of 2004 allows us to see the strict limitations in film output throughout the four areas in the forty years since Sembene's feature debut in 1966: on average barely two films per filmmaker, and in total about fourteen films a year split between seventeen sovereign states with a total population of over 166 million. Aside from Ousmane Sembene, who has managed to combine nine completed feature films with a parallel output of ten novels and volumes of short stories, only a handful of Maghrebian filmmakers have been able to make a real career in African cinema. Perhaps because of the paucity of output, it is seldom possible to trace any kind of creative development over time in the work of an African filmmaker. Few can be said to have surpassed the qualities of their first features in their later work (though some have undoubtedly equalled it). As a result, in this study which looks at major works, most of the films discussed are debut features, with all the particular excitements and constraints that this implies. Indeed, over half of all francophone African filmmakers north and south of the Sahara have failed to complete a second feature. Where a second feature film has been completed, this has often been long delayed: twenty years (1982–2002) for Kollo Daniel Sanou from Burkina Faso, twenty-one years (1972–93) for the Algerian Djafar Damardjji, twenty-two years (1980–2002) for the Tunisian Abdellatif Ben Ammar, twenty-five years (1970–95) for the Moroccan Hamid Benani. For this reason, the order of discussion of a filmmaker is in accordance with the decade in which s/he made a first feature or switched to a radically difference form of filmmaking.

Gaps similar to those in individual careers occur in the ‘national’ outputs of Sub-Saharan states, with no films between 1985 and 1999 for Benin, between 1982 and 1995 for Congo, or between 1978 and 1999 for Gabon. Even if we treat the Sub-Saharan states as a single block, the average output is still less than six feature films a year, and there are only three years when the collective output rose above ten films a year (twelve features were produced in 1982, and eleven in both 1992 and 2002). The same pattern is largely true of the Maghreb, where Algeria averages under three features a year and peaked at eleven features in 1972 and twelve in 1982, and Morocco averages just over three features a year and has reached ten only twice (in 1982 and 1995). The smallest Maghrebian cinema, Tunisia, averages just over two films a year and reached its highest annual figure (seven) in 2002. Since much of this tiny output-even some of the work of the most prestigious filmmakers-is partly shaped by the exigencies of French aid or international co-production requirements, to talk of indigenous ‘film industries’ is meaningless. Even to talk of ‘national cinemas’ is hazardous (and a concept many filmmakers would deny). For this reason the following chapters concentrate largely either on broad developments that involve filmmakers from the whole range of countries (Chapters 5 to 8) or on the work of some of the younger directors, born after independence and chosen for the (p.61) individuality of their distinctive personal styles and approaches (Chapters 9 to 14).

There are certain uniform production constraints on all filmmakers throughout the four geographical areas. Almost always, the filmmaker has to take on the triple role of producer-director-writer, and s/he will often take on another role or two as well: as editor, composer of the film score or lead actor, for example. Putting a project together is a complex activity, involving liaison with state authorities and private sector organisations, local and international funding bodies, as well as indigenous and foreign television companies. Even when – as in the nationalised film sector in Algeria up to the mid-1980s – it would seem that the state has taken on the production role, the direct responsibility has usually been put back onto the director. This is clear from Mohamed Chouikh's account of his experience working for the state film organisation ONCIC in Algeria:

Until Youssef, my principal producer was the Algerian state organisation. Its function was generally limited to that of a letter-box, because you had to do everything yourself: bring together aid and financing and then hand over the management of this to the organisation, in exchange for a derisory salary. Nevertheless it had the power of life or death over the film's production.22

In all four areas, filmmakers have similar backgrounds, generally being members of an educated bilingual élite. Often their education in their native countries has been supplemented by university education or technical training abroad, and a surprising number have higher degrees or doctorates, in addition to formal film school qualifications. Ousmane Sembene's background as mechanic, carpenter and mason in Senegal and as factory worker, longshoreman and trade union organiser in France makes him virtually unique among African filmmakers. A more usual background is that of his Senegalese contemporary Paulin Soumanou Vieyra: boarding school in France from the age of ten, a spell studying biology at the University of Paris and then three years training at the Parisian film school IDHEC, where he graduated in 1955.

Over half of all filmmakers north and south of the Sahara have formal film school training and generally this has been been received abroad, in Europe. There are only two established training centres in Africa: the Ghanaian Film School and the Cairo Higher Institute of Cinema. No francophone filmmakers have been trained in Ghana and only two Moroccans – neither of them a major figure (Hassan Moufti and Imane Mesbahi) – are Cairo graduates. By contrast, dozens of African filmmakers are graduates of the major European film schools: the French IDHEC, CLCF and more recently FEMIS, the Belgian school INSAS, (p.62) FAMU in Prague, the Polish school at Lodz, the Moscow-based Soviet institute VGIK, and so on. There have been two unsuccessful attempts to establish a film school in francophone Africa. But the Algerian school established at Ben Aknoun in Algiers in 1964, the INC, closed after an abbreviated course with just one intake of students (though these included future feature directors Merzak Allouache, Farouk Beloufa and Sid Ali Mazif). A more ambitious attempt to set up a pan-African training institution, INAFEC, began in Burkina Faso in 1976. INAFEC received funding from UNESCO, was attached to the University of Ouagadougou and among its graduates were three of the leading Burkina Faso directors, Idrissa Ouedraogo, Dani Kouyaté and Régina Fanta Nacro, but it closed inside a decade.

It is impossible, of course, to make precise divisions between filmmakers on the basis of their date of birth, since the ages at which they make their first film vary widely. The Tunisian Ferid Boughedir was just twenty-six when he co-directed his first feature, as was Jean-Pierre Bekolo from Cameroon when he made Quartier Mozart. In contrast, two documentarists, the Senegalese Paulin Soumanou Vieyra and the Moroccan Abdelmajid Rchich, were fifty-six and fifty-eight respectively at their fictional feature film debuts. But certain generalisations are possible, since the age profiles of filmmakers in all four areas north and south of the Sahara are remarkably similar and it is instructive to align African filmmakers in terms of their age in relation to the date of national independence (1956 for Morocco and Tunisia, 1958 for Guinea, 1960 for the other Sub-Saharan states and 1962 for Algeria).

If we compare the statistics concerning the 153 Maghrebian and 100 Sub-Saharan filmmakers whose birth dates are known, we find that in both cases there is a small number of filmmakers (fifty-three in all, just over a fifth of the total) who were born in 1940 or before. If we take twenty to be the age of adulthood, these future filmmakers were adults at the time of independence. Among this group we find most of the key figures in the first years of African cinema: Mohamed Lakhdar Hamina and Ahmed Rachedi in Algeria, Omar Khlifi in Tunisia, Med Hondo in Mauritania, Ousmane Sembene in Senegal and Souleymane Cisse in Mali among them. Though only a few were directly involved in the liberation struggle, a concern with the anti-colonial struggle as well as the harsh contradictions of emerging post-independence societies is common in their films. Though state censorship tends to limit what they can say directly, they are often extremely critical of the ways in which African societies have developed.

Over 60 per cent of all filmmakers North and South of the Sahara (about 158 in total) were born between the early 1940s and the end of the 1950s and so were teenagers or children when independence was acquired. The characterisation of these younger Arab filmmakers of his own generation made by Nouri Bouzid (himself born in 1944, eighteen years before Tunisian independence) (p.63) can also be applied to filmmakers south of the Sahara, many of whom were brought up as Muslims:

Born in the 1940s, they grew up on Nasserite slogans. Then they tasted defeat [the 1967 Israeli war], then experienced the May 1968 student movement in Europe, then learnt about democracy and discovered international cinema. When they returned home, they were full of hopes and dreams. But the harsh reality hit them in the face: no resources, no market, no freedom of expression.23

Many of this generation have continued to concern themselves with social issues treated in a generally realistic manner (one thinks, for example, of the Moroccans Jillali Ferhati, Hakim Noury and Mohamed Abderrahman Tazi). But it is also to this generation that we owe the stylistic renewal and move towards both abstraction and interiority which occurred from the mid-1980s onwards. The key figures in this group – Bouzid himself and Ferid Boughedir in Tunisia, Merzak Allouache and Mohamed Chouikh in Algeria, Gaston Kabore and Idrissa Ouedraogo in Burkina Faso, Djibril Diop Mambety in Senegal and Cheikh Oumar Sissoko in Mali among them – are the filmmakers who have given us both a new sense of the individual African experience and some of the cinema's most vivid evocations of a perhaps nostalgically viewed African past from which the coloniser is absent. It is the very diverse work of these two founding generations which forms the subject matter for the following four chapters.

There are also some forty filmmakers who were born after independence, making up some 17 per cent of the overall total of francophone African filmmakers. Within this generation we have a wide variety of voices, some of which are analysed individually in the latter chapters of this study. Though few have made more than a couple of features there are major talents already apparent here: Nabil Ayouch from Morocco, Raja Amari from Tunisia, Abderrahmane Sissako from Mauritania, Mahamat Saleh Haroun from Chad, Dani Kouyaté from Burkina Faso, and Jean-Pierre Bekolo from Cameroon among them. There is an interesting contrast between these younger filmmakers and their elders, noted by Melissa Thackway.24 After completing their film training in Europe and making their debut films from a base there, the filmmakers of the 1960s and 1970s always intended to return to settle in Africa and usually did so. The new post-independence generation, by contrast, mostly comprises filmmakers permanently based in Europe (some were indeed born there) who visit Africa largely when they are shooting their films. Given the current forces of globalisation and pressures towards cultural hybrity present in twenty-first-century world cinema, this group must struggle to avoid one of the pitfalls for the ‘native intellectual’ predicted by Frantz Fanon, namely that of becoming ‘individuals without an anchor, without a horizon, colourless, stateless, rootless – a race of angels’.25

Notes:

(1.) Raphaël Millet, ‘(In)dépendance des cinémas du Sud &/vs France’, Paris: Théorème 5, 1998, p. 163.

(2.) Berthin Nzélomona (ed.), La Francophonie (Paris: L'Harmattan/Recherches Africaines 5, 2001), p. 8.

(3.) J. Barrat, cited in N̓Zelomona, La Francophonie, p. 10.

(4.) Millet, ‘(In)dépendance’, p. 164.

(5.) élomona, La Francophonie, p. 27.

(6.) Millet, ‘(In)dépendance’, p. 159.

(7.) Jacques Gérard, in Jacques J. Maarek (ed.), Afrique noire: quel cinéma? (Paris: Association du Cinéclub de l'Université de Paris X, 1983), p. 35.

(8.) Jean-René Debrix, interview, in Guy Hennebelle and Catherine Ruelle, Cinéastes de l'Afrique noire (Paris: Fespaco/CinémAction 3/L'Afrique littéraire et artistique 49,1978), p. 153.

(9.) Millet, ‘(In)dépendance’, p. 167

(10.) Andrade-Watkins, Claire, ‘France's Bureau of Cinema: Financial and Technical Assistance between 1961 and 1977’, Framework 38–9, (London: 1992), p. 28.

(11.) Debrix, interview, p. 154.

(12.) Ibid., p. 156.

(14.) Ibid., p. 155.

(15.) Jean-Michel Frodon (ed.), Au Sud du Cinéma (Paris: Cahiers du Cinéma/Arte Editions, 2004), pp. 200–51.

(16.) Teresa Hoefert de Turégano, African Cinema and Europe: Close-up on Burkina Faso (Florence: European Press Academic, 2005), p. 10.

(17.) Andrée Davanture, ‘Le lâchage d'Atria’, interview, in Samuel Lelièvre (ed.), Cinémas africains, une oasis dans le désert? (Paris: Corlet/Télérama CinémAction 106, 2003), p. 73.

(18.) Millet, ‘(In)dépendance’, p. 162.

(19.) Turégano, African Cinema and Europe, p. 119.

(20.) Millet, ‘(In)dépendance’, p. 142.

(21.) Dominique Wallon, cited in Lelièvre, Cinémas africains, p. 63.

(22.) Mohamed Chouikh, interview, in Camille Taboulay, Le Cinéma métaphorique de Mohamed Chouikh (Paris: K Films Editions, 1997), p. 66.

(23.) Nouri Bouzid, ‘New Realism in Arab Cinema: The Defeat-Conscious Cinema’, in Ferial J. Ghazoul (ed.), Arab Cinematics: Towards the New and the Alternative (Cairo: Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics 15, 1995), pp. 246–7.

(24.) Melissa Thackway, Africa Shoots Back: Alternative Perspectives in Sub-Saharan Francophone African Film (London: James Currey, 2003), p. 135.

(25.) Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1967), p. 175.