Filmmakers in sub-Saharan francophone Africa have been using cinema since independence in the sixties to challenge existing Western stereotypes of the continent. The author shows how directors working in a postcolonial context that has inevitably influenced film agendas and styles have produced a range of alternative, challenging representations. This well illustrated book focuses on the ways in which memory and history have become central themes and how local cultural forms have been integrated into the film medium to depict African identities, realities and concerns. By highlighting the importance of the representation and cultural identity questions, filmmakers are seen to have forged new cinematic codes and given voice to hitherto silenced groups such as women or African immigrant populations in Europe.
Melissa Thackway has a doctorate on Francophone West Africa and has published numerous articles on the subject. She works as a freelance researcher, translator and documentary filmmaker based in Paris.