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Watch – An Introduction To African Cinema

Watch - An Introduction To African Cinema

The word “Introduction” is key… while not an exhaustive history of African cinema, it’s a decent start/introduction for the uninitiated. I just realized that I don’t think I’ve watched a documentary that I’d say does a really thorough, comprehensive job of documenting the history of African cinema. However, if you know something I don’t know, feel free to leave a comment.

After you watch this 30-minute film, I’d recommend picking up copies of 2 books, both penned by Manthia Diawara – filmmaker, scholar, distinguished professor at New York University, and director of the Institute of Afro-American Affairs; first, African Cinema: Politics and Culture (Blacks in the Diaspora), and second, African Film: New Forms of Aesthetics and Politics

Both are available on

Watch below (Black British actor David Oyelowo narrates this by the way):

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

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Yes, as you said it’s a good introduction…
Pr. Diawara is definitely an amazing reference / expert!

I would suggest you look into the work of Paulin Soumanou Vieyra, a Senegalese director and film historian, who did a lot of research on African cinema(s)
His most notable book Le Cinéma africain des origines à 1973 is a great resource… However, I’m not sure it’s availble in English!

And David Murphy’s ‘ Africans filming Africa: Questioning theories of an authentic African cinema’ is also worth checking!

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