African Cinema

African Cinema

            African cinema encompasses those films produced in Africa. Though some of these films are produced by filmmakers in Africa, African directors from the Diaspora are also included in their production. In the colonial period, the Africans were featured in western films but after this period, African filmmakers came up and started to produce films in Africa. The African films are not based on the commercial interests only most are based on the political and social themes thus most of theme are meant for teaching purposes. They are also used to change the perception that most people have about Africa as well as bringing out the African heritage. Some African films are used in educating the Africans about their history based on the Islamic and European invasion. The basic aspects brought out in these films include village life, different forms of agricultural practices and the terrain or landscape. Though there exists many similarities between Wend Kuuni and Life on Earth, significant differences can also be seen in the two African films.

Both films are set in West African countries. Life on Earth is a film set in Mali, which is one of the world’s poorest countries but a country with a rich heritage that can attract any person. In this story, Dramane prepares to live his residence in Paris to go back to his village in Mali to experience the transition to the new millennium from there even though he knows that there would be millennial better celebrations in Paris. The whole film touches on the village life in Sokolo bringing out how life is in most African villages. Wend Kuuni on the other hand is a film set in Burkina Faso in a village called Mossi. This film talks about a young boy that is rescued by a travelling peddler and is adopted by on family in Mossi village after his parents are not found. He continues to be mute until the day he encounters a dead person thus his muteness disappears and he is able to recount what happened to his family. This film gives insight on the village life in African villages before the industrialization.

Many similarities are found in both films. Both movies are set in villages in which technological advancement has not been experienced at a larger extent as that experienced in other countries like Paris. In both films, the people engage in agriculture, which is brought out in Wend Kuuni where after his adoption Wend Kuuni, is given the responsibility of taking care of the goats. In Life on Earth, in the description of the life in the village of Sokolo, cattle herding is one of the aspects described. In both villages, the life depicted is so simple such that such things transportation is not as complicated as it is in the modern world. The mode of transportation in both cases is not through vehicles but through walking but in Life on Earth, transportation has been revolutionalised to include vehicles and bicycles. Village life encompasses a lot of friendliness because each villager has the responsibility of befriending his or her neighbors as well as visitors who come to the village.

In Wend Kuuni when the travelling peddler visits the village he is welcomed and shown a lot of friendliness such that when he decides to leave the child he discovered in outside the village some villagers are prepared to adopt and assimilate the child into their family. In Life on Earth, the villagers live in peace with each other and are concerned of each other such that if anything new happens to any person in the village they will all know. When Dramane arrives in the village, he is shown a lot of friendliness bringing out the friendly nature of the African people. Poverty is prevalent in both villages though the people do not seem to notice that they are living under poverty. This is depicted by the simplicity of the lives of people in the village though that of those in Sokolo is differentiate by the presence of bicycles, the post office as well as the presence of a telephone though which people can be able to communicate with people from far off countries like France.

Wend Kuuni is a film set in the 1982 where most African villages in Mali did not have any articulation to the outside world. On the contrary, Life on Earth is a movie set in the 1998 where the villages in Burkina Faso were articulated with the outside world. This is brought out by the fact that through the telephone people in the village could communicate with people from other countries in the world for example France. In the same way, the villagers could receive letters from countries like France because there was a post office in the village. In this way Dramane could be bale to tell his father of his traveling to the village through the letter he sent him. The only form of exposure to the outside world experienced in Wend Kuuni is through the interaction of the villagers with the travelling peddler who was an African too, meaning that the village did not have any articulation with any country outside Africa.

The music played in both films is so diverse depending on the country that the films are set. In Life on Earth, the music played is Malian music. This is brought out by the fact that the music that was played in the radios that broadcasted all types of information to the villagers was Malian music and the sound tracks also used in the film are based on the Malian music. In Wend Kuuni the music used is comprises of baroque string ensemble as well as a trumpet voluntary which contrast the simplicity of the African culture portrayed in the film. With the changes that are experienced in the movie the music also changes to incorporate a bamboo flute that brings out the African culture at a greater perspective. African autonomy is brought out differently in both films with better African autonomy being experienced in Wend Kuuni as compared to Life on Earth. This is because in Wend Kuuni there was no form of civilization experienced thus the people ruled themselves without ant outside interference.

On the other hand, in Life on Earth, civilization is symbolized by the presence of the radios, the telephone and the post office, which could only have been brought by the colonialists. the news broadcasted by the radios are about France showing that France has some type of power over that village showing that they did not have the complete African autonomy experienced in  Wend Kuuni. Temporalities are those properties that were bestowed on Christian leaders by the secular leaders. In Wend Kuuni due to the absence of ant type of religion as the film was set before the invasion of Islam there were no temporalities. On the other hand, Life on Earth is set after the introduction of both Christianity and Islam thus the temporalities existed. The type of landscape used in both films varies. In Wend Kuuni the landscape encompasses a land that has not been developed it is a land in which no vehicles pass through thus the landscape is still bare of any type of industrial developments. In Life on Earth, the landscape has gone through a pot of transformation to embrace the use of vehicles and bicycles after the industrial developments that have taken place.

African cinema is used to refer to those films that are produced in Africa. The filmmakers who produce them are those Africans who are either living in Africa or in the Diaspora. Wend Kuuni and Life on Earth are two African films, which have both similarities and diverse differences. Both are set in African villages but these villages are found in different countries. Wend Kuuni is set in Burkina Faso while Life on Earth is set in Mali. Both films bring out the simplicity of the village life even though the life found in Life on Earth is complicated by the presence of the radios, the bicycles and the post office, which signify an articulation between the village and France no temporalities exist Wend Kuuni but they exist in Life on Earth. Life on Earth is set after civilization has taken place thus it is different from Wend Kuuni, which was set before civilization. Both films are used to educate people on the African heritage as well as educating the Africans on their history. In conclusion, though the two African films have significant similarities they also encompass diverse differences.

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