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African Filmmaking: North and South of the Sahara by Roy Armes

By Roy Armes

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50 In 1958 the group was transferred to Tunis, then the base for the leaders of the Algerian liberation movement, where it became the film service of the Algerian Republican Provisional Government in exile (GPRA). The GPRA thought the role of film important enough for it to send another young filmmaker, Mohamed Lakhdar Hamina, to study film at FAMU in Prague in 1959. Vautier himself, who was wounded three times in his various frontier crossings into Algeria, set up a film school, whose pupils made two collective documentaries in 1957–8.

40 According to Khayati, in Arab-Muslim culture, ‘the submission of the individual is complete and the allegiance of the community to God is total. Every revolt against the community is a revolt against God. 41 This is, of course, the very opposite of the Western ideology underlying Hollywood and European films, colonial or not, where the key assumption about characters is that they are individuals, able to make choices as the basis for action. Whatever the pressures or dangers, these choices are ultimately freely made by the individual, and cannot be blamed on background, family upbringing, heredity, social or economic pressures, and certainly not on fate.

254. 11. Ibid. 12. Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1967), pp. 166–99. 13. I have discussed ‘national culture’ in Roy Armes, Third World Filmmaking and the West (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987), pp. 24–8. 14. Oliver, The African Experience, p. 277. 15. Ibid. 16. , p. 278. 17. Ibid. 18. Hull, Modern Africa, p. 192. 19. Oliver, The African Experience, p. 302. 20. Cited in John Reader, Africa: A Biography of the Continent (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1998), p.

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