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The University of Massachusetts Amherst

African Film


This course offers an introduction to African film as an aesthetic and cultural practice. Students should expect to be familiarized with the key ideas and objectives that have inspired and driven that practice since the early 1960s, and be furnished with the technical tools and methodological skills that would permit them to understand, analyze, and think critically about the artistic and thematic aspects of the films that are screened. They should also expect the course to provide them with a critical peek into several cardinal issues of social and cultural relevance in contemporary Africa and its history. Issues of interest typically include, the nationstate and its declining status, imperatives of decolonization, economic dependency and structural adjustment programs, orality and changing traditional cultures, diasporic migrations, urbanization and its problems, gender relations, civil wars, child soldiers, gangs, and related themes. Filmmakers studied include, but are not limited to, Abderrahmane Sissako, Gillo Pontecorvo, Ousmane Sembene, Raoul Peck, Jean-Marie Teno, Dani Kouyate, Mweze Ngangura, Gavin Hood, Neill Blomkamp, Moufida Tlatli, Djibril Diop Mambety (please note that this list is subject to change, and shall be updated as future changes are made). The course is conducted in English, and requires no prior knowledge of the field. All films are streamed to your computer from the UMass library on demand. Required readings are provided online, and no book purchases are necessary. (Gen.Ed. AT, DG)
Course Details


Jul 6, 2021 - Aug 13, 2021
Patrick Mensah
Base Cost: $1,780 ($445/credit)
Term Fee: $50
Start date: Jul 06, 2021
End date: Aug 13, 2021
Last day to add: Jul 12, 2021
Last day to drop: Jul 12, 2021
Last day to withdraw: Jul 28, 2021