By Roy Armes
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Additional resources for African Filmmaking
Jacqueline Kaye and Abdelhamid Zoubir, The Ambiguous Compromise: Language, Literature and Identity in Algeria and Morocco (London and New York: Routledge, 1990). 37. Oliver, The African Experience, p. 305. 38. Jacques Maquet, Civilisations of Black Africa (New York: Oxford University Press, 1972), p. 17. 39. Ibid. 40. David Robinson, Muslim Societies in African History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), p. 27. 41. , p. 39. 42. , p. 42. 43. Ibid. 44. Hull, Modern Africa, p. 233. 45. Cruise O’Brien, Symbolic Confrontations, p.
In the Maghreb, feature filmmaking began in Algeria in 1965 with Ahmed Rachedi’s masterly documentary Dawn of the Damned/L’Aube des damnés, which was quickly followed by eight fictional features in the 1960s, among them Mohamed Lakhdar Hamina’s The Wind from the Aurès/Le Vent des Aurès (1966). Tunisian cinema was inaugurated by Omar Khlifi with the appropriately named The Dawn/L’Aube (1966), and three further Tunisian features were made in the late 1960s. Morocco followed with three features – all produced by the state film organization, the CCM – in 1968–9.
Both film industries continue with varying degrees of success to face new challenges in a very different world, confronting the very real threats to freedom of expression posed by Islamic fundamentalism in Egypt, and responding to the equally real opportunities of shaping a black cinema for a black-governed society in the new 32 BEGINNINGS South Africa. But in the absence of the kinds of industrial infrastructures which were developed in Egypt and South Africa, the models of production developed there remain largely irrelevant to other African filmmakers north and south of the Sahara.