Mahir Şaul is a professor of anthropology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He is coauthor of African Challenge to Empire: Culture and History in the Volta-Bani Anticolonial War and author of many articles on West African anthropology and social and economic history.
Listed in: Colonialism and Decolonization · African Studies · Military History · African Film · Mali · Film and Video - History and Criticism · African History · Africa · Burkina Faso · Media History · Media Studies
Viewing African Cinema in the Twenty-first Century
Art Films and the Nollywood Video Revolution
Edited by Mahir Şaul and Ralph A. Austen
African cinema in the 1960s originated mainly from Francophone countries. It resembled the art cinema of contemporary Europe and relied on support from the French film industry and the French state. But since the early 1990s, a new phenomenon has come to dominate the African cinema world: mass-marketed films shot on less expensive video cameras. These “Nollywood” films, so named because many originate in southern Nigeria, are a thriving industry dominating the world of African cinema.
West African Challenge to Empire examines the anticolonial war in the Volta and Bani region in 1915–16. It was the largest challenge that the French ever faced in their West African colonial empire, and one of the largest armed oppositions to colonialism anywhere in Africa. How such a movement could be organized in the face of European technological superiority despite the fact that this region is generally described as having consisted of rival villages and descent groups is a puzzle.