Reel Resistance - The Cinema of Jean-Marie Teno

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Both a monograph and a critical dialogue between academic Melissa Thackway, author of Africa Shoots Back, and the Cameroonian filmmaker Jean-Marie Teno, this collaborative work takes the reader on a journey through Teno's multifaceted on-going filmic reflection on Cameroon and the wider African continent, its socio-political systems, history, memory and cultures. Presenting and contextualizing Teno's cinema, it addresses the notion of political commitment in art and of cinema as a form of resistance. It also considers Teno's filmmaking both in relation to the theoretical and aesthetic debates to have animated West and Central African filmmakers since the 1960s and 1970s, and n relation to documentary filmmaking practices on the continent and beyond. In so doing, the book offers an analysis of the predominant stylistic and thematic traits of Teno's work, examines the individual films and the collective oeuvre, and highlights the evolutions of his film language and concerns. It identifies and explores the committed socio-political and historical themes at play, such as violence, power, history, memory, gender, trauma and exile. It also considers Teno's unwavering focus, both thematically and in his filmmaking choices, on forms and instances of resistance, framing his cinema as a form of decolonial aesthetics.

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James Currey
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