Skip to Main Content

Film Studies: National Cinemas

This guide highlights selected resources for various national cinemas.

Introduction to Sub-Saharan African cinema

Arguably the earliest public film screening on the African continent took place in South Africa in May 1896. A number of ethnographic films had been made in West Africa in the previous year by Félix-Louis Regnault (in collaboration with Jules-Etienne Marey); however, these were only screened in Europe. In the 1920s in British Tanganyika (now Tanzania) the colonial/explorer documentary films of Martin Johnson typified the stereotypical depictions of Africa and Africans avidly consumed by audiences in Europe and the US. A similar patronising attitude can be found in 1930s feature films such as Hollywood’s Tarzan franchise and adventure films such as Les cinq gentlemen maudits/The Five Accursed Gentlemen (Julien Duvivier, France, 1931) and Sanders of the River (Zoltán Korda, UK, 1935). In 1935 the British Colonial Office built production studios and labs in Tanganyika, the Gold Coast (now Ghana) and Nigeria, and between 1935 and 1936, under the aegis of the Bantu Educational Kinema Experiment (BEKE), took a number of health and information films (with titles such as Post Office, Savings Bank, Tax, and Infant Malaria) on lorry tours of East and Central Africa (see useful cinema).

Kuhn, A., & Westwell, G. (2020). Sub-Saharan Africa, film in. In A Dictionary of Film Studies. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 13 May. 2021

Searching the online catalog

You can use the subject heading below to find resources in the online catalog. The call number range is also included. Please note: these are not the only call number ranges, but they have the majority of items.

Introductory reading(s)

Selected book titles

Other Library resource(s)

Finding journal articles

You can search various publications to find articles on Sub-Sahara African cinema. Our collection does not have cinema journals that cover the area exclusively. You can use Film & Television Literature Index to find articles or use the search box at the top of the page.

Selected film titles

Find more Sub-Saharan films in the online catalog.

Internet resource(s)

Keeping up with the journal literature

Want an easy way to keep up with the journal literature for a national or regional cinema? And you use a mobile device? You can install the BrowZine app and create a custom Bookshelf of your favorite journal titles. Then you will get the Table of Contents (ToCs) of your favorite journals automatically delivered to you when they become available. Once you have the ToC's you can download and read the articles you want.

You can get the app from the App Store or Google Play.

Don't own or use a mobile device? You can still use BrowZine! It's now available in a web version. You can get to it here. The web version works the same way as the app version. Find the journals you like, create a custom Bookshelf, get ToCs and read the articles you want.