Stereotypes Surrounding African Cinema (Part 1) NDOLE
We have all heard or seen stereotypes about African movies. Alexia is tired of it. She’s here to talk about why in this episode of Ndole @cinewax.
Link to the video here
🌶 Ndole, named after the Cameroonian stew, is here to "mettre les films dans la sauce." We explore African films and series across the spi-cy topics, in a fun and easy style. And if you’ve never heard of Ndole…it’s worth the Google ;)
“Today, I’m talking about the four clichés I hear the most on African films.” - Alexia, Cinewax Host
Have you heard this before? 🙉
“African films are essentially Nollywood (= low budget).”
"The special effects are phony, just like Indian films."
“They’re always stories about heritage or witchcraft.”
“The acting is bad.”
If you have, now is the time to put an end to that misinformation. Share this video before reading the article.
A LITTLE HISTORY ON THESE STEREOTYPES
Let's look back on the history of these stereotypes around African cinema.
In the second half of the 2000s, following the emergence of YouTube, film producers in Nigeria, Ghana, and Uganda (among others) took the opportunity of the web to mass distribute their films online. Often, these were low-budget productions made "a little too" quickly. What resulted were films with extravagant special effects, comparable to those seen in some Indian films, screenplays that were underworked or borrowed from American action films.
👏 Still, we can appreciate one thing: the ingenuity of African producers who found themselves in a context of limited resources to adapt stories to an African style or to create original films.
In the end, we had a good laugh! 😂
Many of these videos became classics, such as the 3D helicopter and the famous "Drop the Bomb Man" (Uganda), the advenutre of B14 (Ghana), the "African Spiderman" (Nigeria), and the hilarious "Why are you running?" a Nollywood classic.
Okay Africa made a video with the best scenes from these films.
STEREOTYPES VS. REALITY
African cinema has nothing to envy from other cinemas. Many of the continent's films have received major international awards for their directing, screenplay, or photography, such as The Gravedigger's Wife by Khadar Ayderus Ahmed, which in 2021 was awarded The Golden Stallion of Yennenga (L'Étalon d'Or de Yennenga), the top prize at Fespaco. Or Mati Diop's Atlantics, which won the Grand Prix at Cannes in 2019.
Numerous African directors and technicians work for international productions and participate in the creation of magnificent films. To mention a few: ISOKEN (Jade Obideru), DA YIE (Anthony Nti), SUPA MODO (Likarion Wainaina).
(ps: we'll have a list of 10 African films to see in 2022 soon)
You can assure yourself that these stereotypes are far behind us - the industry of African cinema has been excelling on a global scale since 2015. We can find many Nigerian (Nollywood) and South African films on Netflix, and new series appearing every month such as Maîtresse d'un homme marié (Marodi TV) from Senegal or Cacao in the Ivory Coast.
🤔 However, many spectators still retain a close-minded and biased view of African series and films, often out of ignorance.
It's important to note that African films and series still lack accessibility and they often don't last a long time in cinemas, and this requires spectators to put forth an extra effeort to find them.
Don't panic, we're preparing an article on the best platforms for watching African films/series!
And, you there, do you have any stereotypes on African cinema? What do you think about them?
👉 Share you thoughts in the comments.
See you soon on Cinewax!
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