Framing Africa
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Framing Africa

Portrayals of a Continent in Contemporary Mainstream Cinema
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Nigel Eltringham
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The first decade of the 21st century has seen a proliferation of North American and European films that focus on African politics and society. While once the continent was the setting for narratives of heroic ascendancy over self (The African Queen, 1951; The Snows of Kilimanjaro, 1952), military odds (Zulu, 1964; Khartoum, 1966) and nature (Mogambo, 1953; Hatari!,1962; Born Free, 1966; The Last Safari, 1967), this new wave of films portrays a continent blighted by transnational corruption (The Constant Gardener, 2005), genocide (Hotel Rwanda, 2004; Shooting Dogs, 2006), ‘failed states’ (Black Hawk Down, 2001), illicit transnational commerce (Blood Diamond, 2006) and the unfulfilled promises of decolonization (The Last King of Scotland, 2006). Conversely, where once Apartheid South Africa was a brutal foil for the romance of East Africa (Cry Freedom, 1987; A Dry White Season, 1989), South Africa now serves as a redeemed contrast to the rest of the continent (Red Dust, 2004; Invictus, 2009). Writing from the perspective of long-term engagement with the contexts in which the films are set, anthropologists and historians reflect on these films and assess the contemporary place Africa holds in the North American and European cinematic imagination.

Introduction: Cinema/Chimera?: The Re-presencing of Africa in 21st Century Film
Nigel Eltringham

Chapter 1. ‘Print the Legend’: Myth and Reality in The Last King of Scotland
Mark Leopold

Chapter 2. Black Hawk Down: Recasting U.S. Military History at Somali Expense
Lidwien Kapteijns

Chapter 3. Pharma in Africa: Health, Corruption and Contemporary Kenya in The Constant Gardener
Daniel Branch

Chapter 4. War in the City, Crime in the Country: Blood Diamond and the Representation of Violence in the Sierra Leone War
Danny Hoffman

Chapter 5. Showing What Cannot Be Imagined: Shooting Dogs and Hotel Rwanda
Nigel Eltringham

Chapter 6. Torture, Betrayal and Forgiveness: Red Dust and the Search for Truth in Post-apartheid South Africa
Annelies Verdoolaege

Chapter 7. Go Amabokoboko!: Rugby, Race, Madiba and the Invictus Creation Myth of a New South Africa
Derek Charles Catsam

Author Biographies