Africa Film WebMeeting

Message from: (
About: Re: Harare Southern African Film Festival

Sat, 5 Oct 1996 11:41:10 -0400

Originally from: "Kenneth W Harrow" <>
Originally dated: Sat, 5 Oct 1996 11:41:10 -0400

Well, I stand by my snap judgment. Not only would I put Yaaba up there with
my top ten favorites, I wouldn't put a lot of Sembene's films up there. I
like Guelwaar particular...and could list another 3-4. But in my view he is
important but not the best African filmmaker.

As for Western elements, that's a tricky issue. Certainly I felt that Camp
Thiaroye was very Western...ooops that's Sembene. The long shots of Gerima
wonderfully free of Hollywood rules, and let's see, when Yaaba takes that
walk across the savanna to the river, the pacing is decidedly non-Western.
joking relationship between the drunken man and the others in the village,
that Western? The perspective on the events is debatable -- the "outsiders"
privileged in this film--i.e., Yaaba the old witch lady herself, the snotty
kids, the drunk, all are proven to be right. But does it not straightjacket
African epistemologies to have all obey the rule of community first?
ken harrow

> Originally from: Zoe Salonitides
<> > Originally dated: Wed, 2 Oct 1996 12:31:47 -0400
> Ken Harrow said:
> > 3.Yaaba is one of the best African films made
> I'm not sure about this... obviously it comes down to personal opinion,
> can you really say Yaaba is one of the best? I haven't been fortunate
> to watch many African films, but from the ones I've seen (mainly Ousmane
> Sembene's) I don't think Yaaba surpasses them. Idrissa Ouedraogo is a fine
> filmmaker, and does a wonderful job in telling the story, but let's not
> forget the other films which have made bigger contributions to African
> cinema.
> And isn't Idrissa Ouedraogo constantly criticized for being too "western"
> his film techniques?
> Zoe
> --

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