The purpose of the African Women in Cinema Blog is to provide a space to discuss diverse topics relating to African women in cinema--filmmakers, actors, producers, and all film professionals. The blog is a public forum of the Centre for the Study and Research of African Women in Cinema.

Le Blog sur les femmes africaines dans le cinéma est un espace pour l'échange d'informations concernant les réalisatrices, comédiennes, productrices, critiques et toutes professionnelles dans ce domaine. Ceci sert de forum public du Centre pour l'étude et la recherche des femmes africaines dans le cinémas.

30 December 2011

Screens and Veils: Maghrebi Women's Cinema by Florence Martin

Examined within their economic, cultural, and political context, the work of women Maghrebi filmmakers forms a cohesive body of work. Florence Martin examines the intersections of nation and gender in seven films, showing how directors turn around the politics of the gaze as they play with the various meanings of the Arabic term hijab (veil, curtain, screen). Martin analyzes these films on their own theoretical terms, developing the notion of “transvergence” to examine how Maghrebi women’s cinema is flexible, playful, and transgressive in its themes, aesthetics, narratives, and modes of address. These are distinctive films that traverse multiple cultures, both borrowing from and resisting the discourses these cultures propose.

Overture: Maghrebi Women’s Transvergent Cinema
Act I: Transnational Feminist Storytellers: Shahrazad, Assia, and Farida
1. Assia Djebar’s Transvergent Narrative in The Nuba of the Women of Mount Chenoua (Algeria, 1978)
2. Farida Benlyazid’s Initiated Audiences in A Door to the Sky (Morocco, 1998)
Act II: Screens & Veils
3. Yamina Bachir-Chouikh’s Transvergent Echoes in Rachida (Algeria, 2002)
4. Raja Amari’s Screen of the Haptic in Red Satin (Tunisia, 2002)
5. Nadia El Fani’s Multiple Screens and Veils in Bedwin Hacker (Tunisia, 2002)
Act III: From Dunyazad to Transvergent Audiences
6. Yasmina Kassari’s “Burning” Screens in The Sleeping Child (Morocco, 2004)
7. Selma Baccar’s Transvergent Spectatorship in Khochkhach (Tunisia, 2006)
Appendix A: Political and Cinematic Chronology
Appendix B: Primary Filmography

Florence Martin is Professor of French and Francophone Literature and Cinema at Goucher College and Associate Editor of Studies in French Cinema. She is author of Bessie Smith, of De la Guyane à la diaspora africaine (with Isabelle Favre), and of A vous de voir!

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