African Development Movie and book Analysis

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3 page analysis on EACH the following items

FILMS- Bamako by Abderrahmane Sissako, Faces of Africa-Sankara's Ghost, Moi un Noir by Jean Rouch, Camp de Thiaroye by Ousmane Sembene, Adwa by Haile Gerima

BOOKS- Thomas Sankara: An African Revolutionary by Thomas Sankara, African Religions by Jacob K. Olupona

Each analysis can include- African Development, Plot synopsis, cinematography, and critical review

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Explanation & Answer

Attached.

Film Analysis
“Camp de Thiaroye” by Ousmane Sembene

I.

Plot Synopsis

ii.

African Development

iii.

Critical Review

iv.

Cinematography

“Moi un Noir” by Jean Rouch

II.
i.

Plot Synopsis

ii.

African Development

iii.

Critical Review

iv.

Cinematography
“Faces of Africa Sankara's Ghost” Film Analysis

III.
i.

Film Synopsis

ii.

African Development

iii.

Cinematography

iv.

Critical Review
Bamako by “Abderrahmane Sissako”

IV.

V.

i.

i.

Plot Synopsis

ii.

The Theme of African Development

iii.

Cinematography

iv.

Critical Review

“Adwa” by Haile Gerima

i.

Africa Development

ii.

Plot Synopsis

iii.

Critical Review

iv.

Cinematography


Running head: FILM ANALYSIS

1

Film Analysis
Institution Affiliation
Name

FILM ANALYSIS

2

“Camp de Thiaroye” by Ousmane Sembene
“Camp de Thiaroye” is a Senegalese film of 1944 that documents all the events that
happened at Thiaroye, present-day Senegal. The events at the camp were inspired by soldiers
who were asking their pay. The film by Ousmane Sembene is a depiction of how the French
treated the Senegalese soldiers and the events that followed when they resisted the oppression.
The film criticizes the colonial system and shows how it was posing a great threat to humanity at
the camp. “Camp de Thiaroye” was filmed in Senegal and received international and local
acclamation before being suspended.
Plot Synopsis
The film is centered around a Senegalese platoon of soldiers who were serving in the
French Free Army abroad. The soldiers on the return are held in an encampment in the desert
that is heavily guarded (Semear, 2014). Sergeant Diatta who happens to be educated in Paris and
is married to a French wife is among the soldiers, Pays is also among the group who because of
the effects of war can only speak in screams and grunts. The soldiers start complaining about the
food in the camp to which the commander responds that food is for the white officers and not for
the blacks. Sergent Diatta decides to leave the camp to town in search of a brothel, but he is
denied entry because he is black (Semear, 2014). Some American troops found him and beat him;
the Senegalese troops revenge by capturing an American soldier, whereby the Americans
threaten to kill everyone in the camp and level it.
A transfer for the Senegalese troops is arranged; however, amid the complains, they are
only going to receive half the pay. This prompts the Senegalese troops to capture a French
soldier, and this begins a mutiny and stands still (Semear, 2014). The soldier deceives them that

FILM ANALYSIS

3

they are going to get their full pay, and this brings the mutiny to an end. Later in the night, Pays
sees tanks approaching the camp at his watchtower whereby he notifies the rest of the soldiers
who dismiss him as crazy, an hour later, the unthinkable happens as French forces open fire on
the camp and kills their leader Diatta, Pays and the rest of the Senegalese soldiers.
African Development
“Camp de Thiaroye” is set on the African soil and aims to show how the African soldiers
in French West Africa are treated even after serving in the French Free Army. There is a huge
disparity between the French soldiers and the Senegalese soldiers, one French general is heard
saying " just look at them, they are big children, " and this is a clear indication of how the French
did not recognize the soldiers (Semear, 2014). The effects of colonization and its impacts on
Senegal are depicted throughout the whole movie. Racism is seen as Sergent Diatta who
Senegalese is not allowed to go into a bar because he is black (Semear, 2014). The struggle by
Diatta to get into the bar gets him beaten by American soldiers. The film is an indication of how
the French did not respect the service and sacrifice given by their Senegalese counterparts.
The entire film depicts the character's identity crisis, where the soldiers are stripped of
their uniforms and given traditional ones that represent their status, this in itself shows how the
soldiers were treated. Costumes in this film are used to differentiate between the master and the
slave. The colonizing powers are likened to the Nazi regime, and this is what the soldiers are
trying to oppose (Semear, 2014). According to Diatta, there is no difference between Camp
Thiaroye and a concentration camp. The entire movie is based on how the soldiers are ready to
give their lives for a better Senegal. In as much as they do not enjoy the goodies, they savor the
fight against the French government.

FILM ANALYSIS

4

Critical Review
''The Camp at Thiaroye'' is deliberately slow throughout most of the parts however it
explodes not only during the mutiny and massacre at Thiaroye but in many other aspects because
it embodies and represents Africans before and after colonial rule collapsed. It is, however, a bit
ironical for me that Sergent Diatta is seen as very French as compared to the rest as he has a
French wife, a kid and can speak correctly in English and French. He sympathizes with the
ordinary Senegalese soldiers who cannot speak excellent French. Surprisingly Diatta is willing to
spend more time at the village helping them reconstruct before he goes back to study law in
France. Diatta is unable to answer his aunt who finds him as being unroyal to his motherland.
The film at this point mixes drama with didacticism which shows how Diatta is proud of the
motherland, but on the other side, he is ambitions and aspirations. Sembene Caton easily
accumulates small details to show the challenges that soldiers must go through on a daily basis.
The film shows cultural strains clearly, and this makes it an excellent movie to watch about
Thiaroye. However, Sembene is not able to bring out the plots well by showing how true,
mournful, and violent the film has been captured. The rest of the characters in the movie are
however too schematic and dull as compared to Diatta. Pays is used very well to depict cultural
oppression. The film is however not short of intellectual power and dramatic force especially
when Diatta feels that African identity is still an important issue to contend with.
Cinematography
The film is shot in a dramatic yet engaging way that allows us to feel the other side of the
world. The musical aspects in the early stages of the film is a replica of how movies in an
African setting have been inspired by music. The raw footage in the movie typically shows how

FILM ANALYSIS

5

it is captured and filmed at the source, at a great tool to use in storytelling and cinematography.
Ousmane, however, was keen to use attire that shows the exact situation the soldiers were in. The
movie has been balanced by ensuring that the camera work is not focused on one point. Ousmane
Caton balances all these with ease and make the film an epic work.

Reference
Semear, A. (2014, July 16). Retrieved March 25, 2019, from
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=BOyD3u0vXvI

FILM ANALYSIS

6

“Moi un Noir” by Jean Rouch
“Moi un Noir” is a French film released in 1958 towards the period when Niger was
decolonizing itself. The film by Jean Rouch is a depiction of the strong influence that the
westerners had on the Africans in Niger. The movie was inspired by the desire of young
Nigerians who left the country in pursuit of better lives in Ivory Coast. Compared to the good life
that the immigrants envision, the young Nigerians are seen to be living in poverty. Jean Rouch
was able to capture the aspirations, thoughts, and desires of the young Africans in a hilarious, yet
dramatic film set in an African city.
Plot Synopsis
“Moi un Noir” describes the life of young Nigerien immigrants who left Niger to try and
find work in the neighboring country of Ivory Coast. The young men live in a slum in Treichville
in the capital city where they are envious of the posh lifestyle in The Plateau, a business and
industrial district. The immigrants are Ganda, Eddie, Tarzan, Elite, Guede, and Jules (Wilson,
2018). The film shows how their real character routines conflict with that of their own for a
whole weak. The immigrants work in a ship dock where they do menial jobs to earn 20 francs for
a bowl of soup. During the day is pure struggles while during the night all they do is drink their
sorrows in bars while dreaming about their futuristic and ideal lives. The dreamlike sequences in
the movie have been shot in a poetic mode by Rouch (Wilson, 2018). Towards the end of the
movie, Robinson is reminded of his life back in Niger and how his life is worthy of the dreams.
The fascinating aspect is how each day is introduced by an interstitial voice of Jean Rouch.

FILM ANALYSIS

7

African Development
The film is ta...


Anonymous
Excellent resource! Really helped me get the gist of things.

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