Hollywood’s Africa after 1994 investigates Hollywood’s colonial film legacy in the postapartheid era, and contemplates what has changed in the West’s representations of Africa. How do we read twenty-first-century projections of human rights issues—child soldiers, genocide, the exploitation of the poor by multinational corporations, dictatorial rule, truth and reconciliation—within the contexts of celebrity humanitarianism, “new” military humanitarianism, and Western support for regime change in Africa and beyond? A number of films after 1994, such as Black Hawk Down, Hotel Rwanda, Blood Diamond, The Last King of Scotland, The Constant Gardener, Shake Hands with the Devil, Tears of the Sun, and District 9, construct explicit and implicit arguments about the effects of Western intervention in Africa. Do the emphases on human rights in the films offer a poignant expression of our shared humanity? Do they echo the colonial tropes of former “civilizing missions?” Or do human rights violations operate as yet another mine of sensational images for Hollywood’s spectacular storytelling?
The volume provides analyses by academics and activists in the fields of African studies, English, film and media studies, international relations, and sociology across continents. This thoughtful and highly engaging book is a valuable resource for those who seek new and varied approaches to films about Africa.
Contributors: Harry Garuba and Natasha Himmelman; Margaret R. Higonnet, with Ethel R. Higgonet; Joyce B. Ashuntantang; Kenneth W. Harrow; Christopher Odhiambo; Ricardo Guthrie; Clifford T. Manlove; Earl Conteh-Morgan; Bennetta Jules-Rosette, J. R. Osborn, and Lea Marie Ruiz-Ade; Christopher Garland; Kimberly Nichele Brown; Jane Bryce; Iyunolu Osagie; and Dayna Oscherwitz.