Women in African Cinema: Beyond the Body Politic showcases the very prolific but often marginalised presence of women in African cinema, both on the screen and behind the camera.

This book provides the first in-depth and sustained examination of women in African cinema. Films by women from different geographical regions are discussed in case studies that are framed by feminist theoretical and historical themes, and seen through an anti-colonial, philosophical, political and socio-cultural cinematic lens. A historical and theoretical introduction provides the context for thematic chapters exploring topics ranging from female identities, female friendships, women in revolutionary cinema, motherhood and daughterhood, women’s bodies, sexuality, and spirituality. Each chapter serves up a theoretical-historical discussion of the chosen theme, followed by two in-depth case studies that provide contextual and transnational readings of the films as well as outlining production, distribution and exhibition contexts. This book contributes to the feminist anti-racist revision of the canon by placing African women filmmakers squarely at the centre of African film culture.

Demonstrating the depth and diversity of the feminine or female aesthetic in African cinema, this book will be of great interest to students and scholars of African cinema, media studies and African studies.

chapter |28 pages


Women in African cinema

chapter 1|37 pages

Histories and theories

chapter 2|22 pages

The multiplicity of female identities

Embracing plurality

chapter 3|21 pages

Female friendships in film

Affinities, affiliations and activism

chapter 5|21 pages

Daughters and their mothers

Between conflict and acceptance

chapter 6|21 pages

African women’s bodies

Journeys into womanhood

chapter 7|23 pages

(Re)defining female sexuality through film

chapter 8|24 pages

Spiritual pathways to emancipation

chapter |5 pages