Africa Film WebMeeting

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About: FW: Replies [5]: African novels: optimistic themes

Mon, 21 Apr 97 10:31:00 PDT

Originally from: <>
Originally dated: Mon, 21 Apr 97 10:31:00 PDT

This was the posted reply to a request for African novels with optimistic
themes, but an answer came back with a film....
I thought this might be interesting to some of us...
cheers, Steve Smith
PS. Any feedback on useful and non-useful postings is welcome always...
From: owner-h-afrlitcine
To: Multiple recipients of list H-AFRLITCINE
Subject: Replies [5]: African novels: optimistic themes
Date: Sunday, 20 April, 1997 9:59PM

----- Forwarded message from

From: William O'Donnell, Dept. of History, The Johns Hopkins U.

Though the request was specifically for novels/short stories, I have
recently come across a useful film. _Udju Azul Di Yonta_ (The Blue Eyes
of Yonta) does a wonderful job at depicting some of the contradictions of
post-independence Guinea-Bissau though an enjoyably simple tale of boy
meets girl. This is one of the better films, African or otherwise, that I
have seen all year. The film is optimistic. It is perhaps more optimistic
about the power of social/kin ties in maintaining modern communities than
about the future of post-independence politics. It is worth a screening -
and I am sure than it could be a useful teaching tool:

Udju Azul Di Yonta
(The Blue Eyes of Yonta)
Guinea-Bissau, 1991
in Crioulo with English subtitles
90 mins
Directed by Flora Gomes

From: Ralph Austen, Professor of African History U. of Chicago

You could try _THE SUNS OF INDEPENDENCE_ by Ahmadou Kourouma (soon to be
reprinted by Homes and Meier). It is not exactly optimistic but is a lot
better literature than most of the books you list and at least ends with an
ambivalent ellipse...

From: Barbara Brown

How about Bessie Head's _When Rain Clouds Gather_? We used it
successfully in an NEH summer institute for teachers.

From: Stephen Belcher

Francis Bebey ()_Agatha Moudio's Son_, and others) offers a number of
lighter-hearted considerations of different themes. He is also a musician,
and his CD _La
Condition Masculine_ has some amusing moments for French-speakers.

From: Jayne Kamau Dept. Anthropology Northeastern Illinois U.

Try Meja Mwangi's _The Cockroach Dance_ (Longmans African Classics), about
Nairobi. Funny and very realistic.

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