Hollywood's Africa after 1994
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: Ohio University Press
Title Page, Copyright
Introduction: African Blood, Hollywood’s Diamonds? Hollywood’s Africa after 1994
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At the conclusion of Edward Zwick’s Blood Diamond, Ambassador Walker lectures an audience about the complicity of Westerners in the human crises fueled by conflict diamonds in Sierra Leone...
1: The Cited and the United
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In The Last King of Scotland (Kevin Macdonald, 2007), a newly qualified Scottish medical doctor sits in front of a map of the world pondering where he should go to escape from the stifling world of his boring, conventional bourgeois family. The map, a little globe, sits on his table...
2: The Troubled Terrain of Human Rights Films: Blood Diamond, The Last King of Scotland, and The Devil Came on Horseback
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The last decade has witnessed a proliferation not only of low-budget documentary films but of mass-market cinema with an apparent human rights agenda. This phenomenon invites a number of questions about the uses of cinema as a vehicle to effect social change...
3: Hollywood’s Representations of Human Rights: The Case of Terry George’s Hotel Rwanda
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In recent years, Hollywood has produced “human rights” films— films that expose egregious abuses inflicted on ordinary people who do not receive support from local systems of justice and who do not have the means to articulate their stories to wide audiences...
4: Hollywood’s Cowboy Humanitarianism in Black Hawk Down and Tears of the Sun
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In Reading Humanitarian Intervention, Anne Orford observes that “legal texts justifying interventions in the name of human rights protection offer a narrative in which the international community as heroic savior rescues those passive victims who suffer...
5: Again, the Darkness: Shake Hands with the Devil
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To prepare for a recent talk on human rights films, I decided to view two documentaries on Rwanda, Shake Hands with the Devil: The Journey of Roméo Dallaire (Peter Raymont, 2004)...
6: Ambiguities and Paradoxes: Framing Northern Intervention in The Constant Gardener
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This chapter explores how ambiguity and paradox as framing strategies have been wittingly, deceitfully, and ingeniously deployed...
7: Minstrelsy and Mythic Appetites: The Last King of Scotland’s Heart of Darkness in the Jubilee Year of African Independence
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The stunning success of The Last King of Scotland (2006)—a fictional biopic starring acclaimed African American actor Forest Whitaker, who won an Oscar for his portrayal of Ugandan dictator...
8: “An Image of Africa”: Representations of Modern Colonialism in Africa in Peter Jackson’s King Kong
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Looked at from the vantage point of historical context, it makes sense that Merian C. Cooper made his masterwork King Kong in 1933,1 given that its narrative portrays the intersecting histories...
9: Plus Ça Change, Plus C’est la Même Chose: Hollywood’s Constructions of Africa in Lord of War
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In the world in general, and as one moves from one culture to another, mutual cultural stereotyping abounds. In other words, there is often a pervasive discrepancy between one’s experiences...
10: New Jack African Cinema: Dangerous Ground; Cry, the Beloved Country; and Blood Diamond
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It is a truism that actions speak louder than words. In the case of film, action cinema has the power to override dialogue and deconstruct plot structure through the shock value of violence...
11: “It Is a Very Rough Game, Almost as Rough as Politics”: Rugby as Visual Metaphor and the Future of the New South Africa in Invictus
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Clint Eastwood’s Invictus (2009) tells the story of Nelson Mandela’s role in transforming the image of South Africa’s national rugby team, the Springboks, from a divisive, apartheid-era hangover...
12: “Every Brother Ain’t a Brother”: Cultural Dissonance and Nigerian Malaise in District 9’s New South Africa
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Hailed as the sleeper hit of the summer of 2009, District 9 uses a quasi documentary style to chart the demise of Wikus van der Merwe (Sharlto Copley), a slightly inept Afrikaner bureaucrat charged...
13: Coaxing the Beast Out of the Cage: Secrecy and Disclosure in Red Dust and Catch a Fire
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Any discussion of two films in tandem suggests a comparative approach, the teasing out of similar or opposing motifs and shared or divergent meanings.1 The bracketing...
14: Situating Agency in Blood Diamond and Ezra
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In its four decades of postindependence history, Sierra Leone has been marred by government corruption and greed, a widening gap between the small ruling elite and the poor masses, and an underlying ethnic tension at the political level (though not at the social and...
15: Bye Bye Hollywood: African Cinema and Its Double in Mahamet-Saleh Haroun’s Bye Bye Africa
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Western cinema has lately rediscovered Africa, or so it would seem. In the past fifteen years, a number of films, including Ridley Scott’s Black Hawk Down (2001), Terry George’s...
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Page Count: 288
Publication Year: 2012