View the h-africa Discussion Logs by month
View the Prior Message in h-africa's May 2008 logs by: [date] [author] [thread]
View the Next Message in h-africa's May 2008 logs by: [date] [author] [thread]
Visit the h-africa home page.
Sent: Friday, May 09, 2008 10:26 AM From: Kenneth Harrow <email@example.com> To my surprise, I've learned that Afrique sur Seine is not the first African film -- here is what I've read -- from: http://www.filmreference.com/encyclopedia/Academy-Awards-Crime-Films/Africa-South-of-the-Sahara-BEGINNINGS.html Cinema first came to the French-colonized territories of Africa south of the Sahara in 1900 when a French circus group projected the Lumière brothers' "L'arroseur arrosé" (Watering the Gardener, 1895) in a Dakar marketplace. The early European films were admired and even feared for their potential to capture people in real-life situations. Distribution and exhibition expanded accordingly in major cities to meet the demands of this novelty. There was no question, however, of sub-Saharan Africans producing or directing films, even though their continent became a "fashionable" subject for ethnologists, researchers, missionaries, and colonial administrators eager to document Europe's "Other." In South Africa, newsreels of the Anglo-Boer War were filmed between 1898 and 1902. During the 1910s and 1920s, the Boer and British tensions were overlooked as whites stood together against indigenous peoples in films such as "Die Voortrekkers" (Winning a Continent, 1916) and "Symbol of Sacrifice" (1918). "Die Voortrekkers" provided inspiration for the American-produced "The Covered Wagon" (1923). Most sources claim the 1955 Senegalese production "Afrique-sur-Seine" (Africa on the Seine) as the first film shot by a black African. This short film by Paulin Soumanou Vieyra (1925-1987) focuses on the lives of several African students and artists living in Paris as they contemplate Africa's civilization, culture, and future. However, other early productions include two Congolese short films, "La leçonducinema" (The Cinema Lesson, Albert Mongita, 1951), and "Les pneus gonflés" (Inflated Tires, Emmanuel Lubalu, 1953). In 1953 Mamadou Touré of Guinea shot a twenty-three-minute short called "Mouramani" in which he glorifies the friendship between a man and his dog. Ousmane Sembène (b. 1923) of Senegal produced his famous first short, "Borom Sarret" (1963), which deals with a day in the life of a Dakar cart driver. By 1966, Sembène had produced "LanoiredeŠ" (Black Girl), the first feature in Africa south of the Sahara. Ghana's first feature, "No Tears for Ananse" (Sam Aryeetey, 1968), was inspired by a traditional folktale. The first black South African film was "How Long Must We Suffer?" (Gibsen Kente, 1976).