Friday, February 12, 2010

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

wht to learn from sa movies

I have read and re-read Ato Quayson’s eloquent critique of District 9 several times and I can only agree whole-heartedly with his assessment of the representation of Nigerians in the film and what it tells us about the enduring stereotyping of Africa and Africans in general in Western thought. However, being Arab and Muslim, I’ve become quite accustomed, it is sad to say, to such negative portrayals in film and have made a conscious decision to ignore it, if only so I could go beyond the frustration and anger at being constantly represented as either a mindless terrorist or a mindless woman, and try to understand what, if anything, these films can tell us about the world we live in.

Test two

this is the test two

Popular culture, Bakhtine has shown us, is quite extraordinary in the way it manages to depict and put forth extremely complex issues to a wide audience, even subvert the way they are handled by powerful actors, by resorting sometimes to the most crude and vulgar tools and stereotypes. So what I usually do, these days, is turn off temporarily my critique of these vulgarities, because I’ve become frustrated with the impasse they often lead to. Where do you go after all of these relations of power and distorted representations have been deconstructed? Well if you’re a film-maker, then you make your own films and Nigeria, while simultaneously being villainized in South African films, has also produced the 3rd largest film industry in the world. But if you’re someone who makes a living analyzing societies, then continuing to critique quickly becomes unsatisfying as things rarely change to the better.