A history of Kenya film: the evolving image of the African
This is a study of the development of the Kenyan film with specific regard to the evolving image of the African. The study gives a postcolonial exploration of the depiction of the African in selected Kenyan films. It assesses the extent to which the colonial experience influenced the portrayal of the African in the selected Western films. The study proceeds to find out how the portrayal of the African in the Western films has informed the re-presentation of the African in the Kenyan films. The overall methodological approach to this study is mainly qualitative in nature. The primary sources of data consisted of informal interviews, which enabled the researcher to elicit the respondents' views about the topics of discussion. The researcher also employed free observation when viewing the films. Secondary sources mainly consist of library research whereby critical works on African Cinema were consulted. These included both literature and film material. The study is limited to four purposively sampled films namely, Out of Africa, Kitchen Toto, Kolormask and The Battle of the Sacred Tree. The theoretical assumptions of the study were confirmed. The study reveals that the Kenyan filmmaker attempts to correct the negative depiction of the Africans in Western films. This, however, fails to give a more truthful depiction of the African than the Western film. This is due to the ambiguities of a post-colonial set-up in which the Kenyan filmmaker as well as his/her audiences operate.
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