The Films of Ousmane Semb Ne: Discourse, Culture, and Politics Amadou Tidiane Fofana

ISBN: 9781604978315

Published: November 28th 2012

Hardcover

328 pages


Description

The Films of Ousmane Semb Ne: Discourse, Culture, and Politics  by  Amadou Tidiane Fofana

The Films of Ousmane Semb Ne: Discourse, Culture, and Politics by Amadou Tidiane Fofana
November 28th 2012 | Hardcover | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, AUDIO, mp3, RTF | 328 pages | ISBN: 9781604978315 | 3.65 Mb

Ousmane Sembene was a Senegalese film director, producer, and writer whom the Los Angeles Times considered one of the greatest authors of Africa. Often called the father of African film, Sembene strongly believed that African films should be gearedMoreOusmane Sembene was a Senegalese film director, producer, and writer whom the Los Angeles Times considered one of the greatest authors of Africa. Often called the father of African film, Sembene strongly believed that African films should be geared primarily toward educating the masses and making the philosophical quandaries and political issues contested by elites accessible to the poor and those with little to no formal education.Although Sembenes central aim was to reach African audiences and encourage a dialogue within Senegalese society, his films are also extraordinarily effective in introducing non-African audiences to many of the most intriguing cultural issues and social changes facing African people today.

The films are not fast paced in the manner of many Hollywood films. Rather, they are deliberately unhurried and driven by the narrative. They show actual ways of life, social relations, and patterns of communication and consumption, and the joys and tribulations of West African people. For people who have never been to Africa, the films offer an accessible first gaze.

For those who have visited or lived in an African culture, the films provide a way to explore African society and culture more profoundly. Sembene was an independent filmmaker, solely and totally responsible for the content of his films, which were inspired by the realities of daily life. This focus on microcosmic social relations and day-to-day politics is so central to Sembene art, his films breed provocative commentary on social, historical, political, economic, linguistic, religious, and gender issues relevant to Senegalese society.

Because of his concern with daily Senegalese life, Sembene targeted the common people whose voices are seldom or never heard. In fact, depicting the struggles and concerns of average Senegalese people was a central preoccupation of his films, as he himself has articulated. This study examines the artistry of Sembenes films as well as the multitude of signifying elements Sembene uses in them to communicate in less direct ways with his audience.

The book interprets the meaning conveyed by images through their placement and function within the films, and it contributes new insights into Sembenes interpretations of cultural practices and the meanings he ascribes to social behaviors. It examines how Sembene uses language, mise-en-scene, cinematography, and creative editing to evoke the emotions of his targeted audience. Several chapters in the volume also demonstrate how the many ironies and political economic tensions that are so characteristic of Sembenes work are best understood within the sociocultural context of each films production.

Hence, to make sense of Sembenes cinema, one must be willing to read beyond the denoted meaning of the storyline and to dig into the cultural significance of the carefully selected and manipulated codes and images.



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