Film and Social Change: Ideology, Class, and Pluralism in Selected East and West African Films
This study examined contemporary African cinema narratives with a view to guiding a socio-ideological reading of the narratives. Specifically, it has drawn connections between the film’s diegesis and the non-diegetic space to which the film addresses. The study addressed three key issues; social and ideological narratives, class struggles, and pluralism of narrative voices. The films analyzed were selected from East and West Africa. From West Africa, the study analyzed Kwaw Ansah’s Love Brewed in the African Pot (1981), Abderrahmane Sissako’s Bamako (2006), and Veronica Quarshie’s A Stab in the Dark (1999). From East Africa, the study analyzed Wanuri Kahiu’s From a Whisper (2008), Judy Kibinge’s Killer Necklace (2009), Bob Nyanja’s Malooned (2007) and Gavin Hood’s Eye in The Sky (2015). The main thesis is that films empower people to alter their social and ideological positions by influencing their consciousness about their lives. Since this was a study of films, this research concerned itself with the signifying process of film elements. Consequently, the main theory was Semiotics that proposes the analysis of textual elements as signifiers, often with hermeneutic references outside the film. It was a qualitative study, using quasi-comparative approach to combine cross-cutting ideas into coherent arguments about film and social change. The study is significant in that it provides a template that can be applied in studies of cinema and the many social situations of national importance such as; negative ethnicity, governance, family, religion, modernity and tradition, and terrorism to name just a few. These are exemplary of what the study refers to as social change.