What is it about?

This text studies three contemporary African films that look at the westernized patriarchal societies in Burkina Faso, Nigeria and Senegal. The female main characters in the Senegalese Madame Brouette (2002), by Moussa Sène Absa, the Burkinabe Frontières (Borders) (2017), by Apolline Traoré, and the Nigerian The Ghost and the House of Truth (2019), by Akin Omotoso, all face economic and gender subalternization and end up being involved in violence in order to confront it. So as to use an appropriate methodology, we first argue that African film is multilingual, as much linguistically as in terms of cinematic grammar. In order to understand how the female characters navigate their subalternized roles in narratives that look at their subjugation, we then analyse each film regarding the ways how they try, mostly unsuccessfully, to affirm their subjectivity and which multilingual cinematographic grammars are used for this topic. Keywords: contemporary African cinema, multilingualism, female protagonists, Angola, Burkina Faso, Nigeria

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Why is it important?

It studies three contemporary African films, its female characters, misogyny and the question of violence.


It introduces readers to important questions on gender in African contemporary cinema.

Carolin Overhoff Ferreira
Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo

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This page is a summary of: The grammar of violence of subalternized women: Three examples of contemporary African films, Journal of African Cinemas, December 2021, Intellect, DOI: 10.1386/jac_00048_1.
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