Reel Resistance - The Cinema of Jean-Marie Teno
Title Details

253 Pages

24 x 17 cm

55 b/w illus.

Imprint: James Currey

Reel Resistance - The Cinema of Jean-Marie Teno

by Melissa Thackway and Jean-Marie Teno

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Author
  • Reviews
Weaving together critical analysis and a filmic conversation, this book journeys through the multiple layers of Cameroonian filmmaker Jean-Marie Teno's thematically and aesthetically challenging body of work, framed here as a formof decolonial cinematic resistance.
Co-winner African Literature Association Book of the Year - Scholarship

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.
Introduction
Part I
Documentary Filmmaking in Africa: An Introduction. Defining Documentary - Documentary in Africa - Early African Cinema and the Documentary - Early African Documentary Practices - Into the Eighties...
Critical Insights: Reading the Films of Jean-Marie Teno. Committed Cinema: A Poetics of Resistance - The Cinematic I: Subjectivity, Voice - (Hi)stories, Memory: Decolonial Readings of the Past - Spanning Borders: Transnationality, Circulations and Exile
Conclusion: For a Decolonial Aesthetics?
Part II In Conversation
Appendix 1 - The Writings of Jean-Marie Teno
Appendix 2 - The Films of Jean-Marie Teno: List of Works, their Technical Details and Synopses

MELISSA THACKWAY is a lecturer, independent researcher and translator. She currently teaches African Cinema at Sciences-Po Paris and at the Institut national des langues et civilisations orientales (INALCO). She has published widely on film and representationin Africa and the diaspora.

JEAN-MARIE TENO is an internationally acclaimed filmmaker from Cameroon, whose award-winning works have screened in major festivals and are studied in universities around the world. Turning his sharp critical eye to the politics and social issues of the African continent, his dozen documentary films and feature-length fiction often examine the past to better untangle and understand the complex realities of Africa's postcolonial present.

"Reel Resistance is an exceptionally fruitful and reciprocally beneficial meeting of minds, a critical and aesthetic dialogue which is singular in tone; one in which the artist and his oeuvre continue to exist, fully and clearly, in themselves, rather that serving as pretexts and prime materials for scholarly investigation and performance of knowledge. Thackway's generous stance and critical analysis heightens the reader's grasp of the place and value of Teno's cinema in the international cultural arena, whilst Teno's bold and brilliant understanding of history and politics makes this work a must for readers, be they scholars or the general public. Reel Resistance is a treasure trove for understanding how the colonial past impacts the cultural present and future, in film and society, eliciting a wealth of creative resistance." AFRICINE
"The book makes an important contribution to the research of film history and the decolonization of Southern Africa." MEDIENwissenschaft
"The scope of their [Thackway and Teno's] exchange is extensive, while also focusing on specific aspects of image, sound, and the conceptualization of history. The tone is candid, with the kind of comfort and frankness that can exist between close intellectual friends." African Studies Review
"There are few monographs on an African filmmaker and even less on a documentary filmmaker, which is fundamentally what Jean-Marie Teno is apart from his only feature film, Clando. This more widely illustrated book therefore deserves to be a milestone. It is all the more so as it is fascinating from start to finish, summoning both the deep erudition of the academic Melissa Thackway in the first part and in the second the detailed answers provided by the filmmaker on his journey, its aspirations and its choices. It is through him a history of African cinema is being written, so much has his commitment never wavered. " Africultures
"[I]t is a prime exemplar of solid scholarly research, a bona fide auteur study, not another eclectic digest or mishmash of festivalistic chatter and drawing-room speculations on African film and culture. [...] Reel Resistance is a timely addition to the growing body of critical studies of African filmmakers published over the last three decades." Framework The Journal of Cinema and Media
"This book is testimony to the long-standing collaborative relationship between Melissa Thackway and Jean-Marie Teno, as well as revealing a tremendous relationship even between Teno and the consistency of the message process of his cinema. The mutual assemblage of an incredibly unique text by a stellar scholar and remarkable filmmaker of global repute is a sufficiently complete book of history on documentary filmmaking on the continent. In addition, it equally shows how much further the scholarship and intellectual knowledge productions of African filmmaking can travel." African Studies Quarterly

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9781847012425

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Title Details

253 Pages

2.4 x 1.7 cm

55 b/w illus.

Imprint: James Currey