Murdoch University Research Repository

Welcome to the Murdoch University Research Repository

The Murdoch University Research Repository is an open access digital collection of research
created by Murdoch University staff, researchers and postgraduate students.

Learn more

Film and trauma: Africa speaks to itself through truth and reconciliation films

Mhando, M. and Tomaselli, K.G. (2009) Film and trauma: Africa speaks to itself through truth and reconciliation films. Black Cinema, 1 (1). pp. 30-50.

Link to Published Version:
*Subscription may be required


Films made by Africans on wars, gender oppression, slavery, and trauma project not only confrontations between individual filmmakers and their subjects, but they also reveal the confrontations between individuals and groups and the collective structures which shape, control, and direct their lives. How these collective structures become a story as foreground is an important aspect of the cinematic signification process. The resulting films place and role in trauma mediation cannot be taken lightly nor can it be generalized. Following Ann Kaplan and Ban Wangâs book Trauma and Cinema: Cross-Cultural Explorations (2004, p. 9), we observe regional films roles as cure, shock treatment, very minimally as voyeurism, and of course as witnessing. These films become facilitating agents for the mobilization of a non-conventional resources such as social awareness, solidarity, dedication, commitment, a to serve a historical sense of duty. This paper will examine the relations between the individual, his/her community, and society in general. A cognate concern is with how African films reveal formal signs conditioned by structures of social organization, cultural affinity, and immediate conditions of interaction. We also consider cinemas relationship to historical referents and memory while figuring out the specific modes of address, all of which contribute to the growing cinematic expressions in Africa.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Media, Communication and Culture
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Publisher's Website:
Item Control Page Item Control Page