This paper considers new representations of postcolonial Africa via five big-budget narrative films, including Hotel Rwanda (2004), The Constant Gardener (2005), The Interpreter (2005), Blood Diamond (2006), and The Last King of Scotland (2006). Although these films appear to have transcended old colonial stereotypes, a new set of features and themes, all Afropessimist in nature, links them, suggesting the West’s negative influence on perceptions of the continent. Although the films show more commitment to realism and historical accuracy than previous cinematic treatments of Africa, they still struggle to represent the real challenges and complexities associated with the continent. The limitations of genre and the pressures of the industry result in several weaknesses, principally an inability to investigate the social and structural elements of African history, the overreliance on white focalizers and narrators, and a tendency to generalize from particular cases to continental trends.


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pp. 14-35
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