With the end of apartheid, South African cinema is at a turning point in its history. This collection offers an exploration of a film industry that has excluded its country's black majority, in both representation and production - and which w must overcome collusion between racist ideology and film form. Until recently, filmmakers could work only within a culture that reluctantly took black South Africans into account. Therefore, to explore what South African cinema has been and could become, the authors do t limit their discussion to film production but approach cinema as a manifestation of cultural history. How has the purpose of cinema been viewed at different times in South Africa, by different governments and social groups? What is the relation between film and a sense of nationhood in South Africa? Such questions lead to a consideration t only of films made by South Africans in South Africa but also of an unfolding film culture within a series of stages that have yet to give rise to a national cinema.
Isabel Balseiro is an associate professor of Comparative Literature at Harvey Mudd College and an adjunct professor of Cultural Studies at Claremont Graduate University. Ntongela Masilela is a professor of English and World Literature at Pitzer College and an adjunct professor at the University of California at Irvine.