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African Cinema

This guide or resources list is intended primarily for BU students. It helps to find or locate resources on African Cinema in BU Libraries collection as well as online resources accessible thru BU subscription.

Search Tips for the Library Catalog

BULS Search Box

Begin with a keyword search and try various combinations. How you search can determine the number of results:

For example:  "Ghana"

Using and narrows the search: Ghana AND cinema

Using or broadens the search. : (Ghana OR Nigeria) AND cinema This search includes results for either Winnie or Nelson.  

Ghana AND Nigeria AND cinema is a narrower search.  It would show you results that mention both Nelson Mandela and Winnie Mandela.  If it mentions only Winnie Mandela, it will be excluded from the results.


The BU Library Search also has many facets that can be used to refine your search in various ways.  

For example, try searching only in the author field:  Author search for Winnie Mandela

Using the options on the left-hand column, you could further limit your results in various way, for example choosing only article or using the date slider to see only material published before 1994.

The results provide a breakdown of books and articles on that topic and other similar subject headings you might want to investigate.

**** For more details see the Power Searching Guide****

Featured Books About African Cinema

Learning from the Curse

"This book is about a story (Ousmane Sembene's Xala), about a time (the aftermath of Senegalese Independence), and about a place (Dakar, the capital of Senegal). It's also about the collaboration between an artist and an anthropologist, who have reacted in their different mediums to the story,time and place, and to what the other made of them ...."So opens a unique account in a genre of its own devising that will engage readers interested in Sembene Ousmane as writer and film director, in Senegal, in African film, in West Africa, or in books designed to be desirable objects in their own right.

Global Nollywood

Global Nollywood considers this first truly African cinema beyond its Nigerian origins. In 15 lively essays, this volume traces the engagement of the Nigerian video film industry with the African continent and the rest of the world. Topics such as Nollywood as a theoretical construct, the development of a new, critical film language, and Nollywood's transformation outside of Nigeria reveal the broader implications of this film form as it travels and develops. Highlighting controversies surrounding commodification, globalization, and the development of the film industry on a wider scale, this volume gives sustained attention to Nollywood as a uniquely African cultural production.

Third cinema in the third world : the aesthetics of liberation

Although Third Cinema began as a movement of, by, and for the colonized, Gabriel argued passionately for its transnationalist possibilities. In his seminal work Third Cinema in the Third World: The Aesthetics of Liberation, for example, he writesthat “the principal characteristic of Third Cinema is really not so much where it is made, or even who makes it, but, rather, the ideology it espouses and the consciousness it displays.” 

African Filmmaking

This volume attempts to join the disparate worlds of Egyptian, Maghrebian, South African, Francophone, and Anglophone African cinema--that is, five "formations" of African cinema. These five areas are of particular significance--each in its own way. The history of South Africa, heavily marked by apartheid and its struggles, differs considerably from that of Egypt, which early on developed its own "Hollywood on the Nile." The history of French colonialism impacted the three countries of the Maghreb--Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco--differently than those in sub-Saharan Africa, where Senegal and Sembène had their own great effect on the Sahelian region. Anglophone Africa, particularly the films of Ghana and Nigeria, has dramatically altered the ways people have perceived African cinema for decades. History, geography, production, distribution, and exhibition are considered alongside film studies concerns about ideology and genre. This volume provides essential information for all those interested in the vital worlds of cinema in Africa since the time of the Lumière brothers.  

Critical Approaches to African Cinema Discourse

Critical Approaches to African Cinema Discourse utilizes an interdisciplinary approach to lay bare the diversity and essence of African cinema discourse. It is an anthology of historical reflections, critical essays, and interviews by film critics, historians, theorists, and filmmakers that signifies a dialogue and engagement apropos the ideology and cultural politics of film production in Africa. The contributors are extremely concerned, not only with the history of African cinema, but with its future and its potential. This book, then, is not limited to the expansion of the discourse on African cinema, but tries to approach the definition of the critical canon within the exigencies and manifestations of art and African sociopolitical practices. The authors view these practices as an investment in a cultural imperative stemming from the quest to delineate how critical methodologies are derived from and shape contemporary historical and cultural practices. Hence, the contributions are less about the usual constrictive method of analysis and more about illustrating manifestations of an interrogative critical methodology that is certainly an offspring of an indigenous African critical cum cinematic culture and paradigms.

Contemporary Cinema of Africa and the Diaspora

Analyzing art house films from the African continent and theAfrican diaspora, this book showcases a new generation of auteurswith African origins from political, aesthetic, and spectatorshipperspectives. Focuses on art house cinema and discusses commercial Africancinema Enlarges our understanding of African film to include thematicand aesthetic influence Highlights aesthetic and political aspects including racialidentity, women's issues, and diaspora Heavily illustrated with over 90 film stills Features selected stills integral to the filmic analysis infull color Moves beyond Western-oriented analytical paradigms

Colonial Cinema

Decolonization and Postcolonialist fillmaking

Find more books on Postcolonialist  African cinema

A good place to start is the BU Library Search.  This search box will pull the print and ebooks at Boston University as well as some articles and databases.  See the column to the left for more searching tips.

After Postcolonialism - Nolywood

Find more books on Nolywood or African video film industry

A good place to start is the BU Library Search.  This search box will pull the print and ebooks at Boston University as well as some articles and databases.  See the column to the left for more searching tips.

Getting Books Not Available at BU

There are several ways you can obtain books or articles that we do not own. These include:

  • WorldCat Discovery. WorldCat Discovery allows current BU faculty, staff, and students to borrow books directly from other Boston Library Consortium libraries. Turnaround time is approximately three working days. (How to use WorldCat Discovery)

  • Interlibrary Loan. Interlibrary Loan services allow current BU faculty, staff, and students to request books, articles, book chapters, and other materials that our ILL staff will obtain from other libraries. Books generally take 2-4 weeks to arrive; articles are generally delivered electronically within 1-2 days.

  • BLC Cards. A Boston Library Consortium Card allows the bearer to borrow—in person—circulating material from a member library, just as you would from a BU library. Boston University faculty, staff, and students on the Charles River Campus may obtain a Consortium Card by filling out an application form. Medical Campus affiliates apply at the Alumni Medical Library.