African films in the 1980s and 1990s offered new ways of accessing an African cultural identity and hence constituted a source of opposition to the alien forces that have done so much to shape and distort Africa since independence. Such films are the ‘hidden texts’ of which Stuart Hall speaks, which ‘restore an imaginary fullness or plenitude’. They are ‘resources of resistance and identity, with which to confront the fragmented and pathological ways in which that experience has been re-constructed within the dominant regimes of cinematic and visual representation of the West’. With the so-called ‘village’ films of Gaston Kabore and the early Idrissa Ouedraogo films, or the trio of allegories made by Mohamed Chouikh and the studies of the Andalusian heritage by Nacer Khemir, we also find for the first time a series of works in which the same non-realistic styles can be explored and developed.
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