Fundamentally, the aesthetics, visual language and narrative all worked together to imagine Africa as barbarous that needed to be tamed and guided with strong hands. The film contained many symbolisms, which, according to Loomba are necessary in imagining nationhood and building nations (215). In the film, the British were depicted as the savior, keeping Africans from destruction and keeping the colonies from descending in chaos and savagery. The scenes of chaos, savagery and the wilderness of Africa, for instance, all supported the rationalization of Britains imperialism. The narrative also sought to rewrite many African emblems and history in order to suit what Stam and Shohat called the colonialist norms. The rewriting of Bosambo from a tribal leader and good friend to a good servant in the film is a case in point. It reinforced the notion that blacks are incapable of self-determination. Gender bias was also present. The filmmaker insinuated that the deeply parochial Commissioner Sanders, who considered women as a distraction in his mission, was the ideal character to effectively lead the imperialist agenda in Africa. In Indochine, the imperialist tone is less pronounced. Its biases were more subtle, perhaps owing to the period it was made. Racist discourses are not overt or contained in the actual language: the roles and visual language insinuated them instead. For instance, while the protagonist – the Frenchwoman Eliane – was strong, independent and capable, such commendable gender treatment was not true in her Indochinese counterparts. It reinforced the suggestion of inferiority. This is also true n the contrast between the visual representation of the French and Indochinese societies as punctuated in sweeping cinematography wherein one basks in a scene of grandeur and the other in desolation. It showed the Eurocentrism, which imply that an being or becoming European is the only way to begin the onward march to reason or an elevation towards better
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Representation and the construction of stereotypes typify the imperial cinema, underscoring its racial and gender bias. This was depicted in the films, Sanders of the River (1935) and Indochine (1992). Essentially the cinematic devices were employed to express the imperialist…
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Essentially the cinematic devices were employed to express the imperialist ideologies particularly the dynamics of superiority and inferiority in races and genders. Sanders of the River was made in 1935 based on a novel of similar title written by Edgar Wallace in 1911. Wallace is a staunch imperialist and the content of his opus reflected this sentiment. Fundamentally, the aesthetics, visual language and narrative all worked together to imagine Africa as barbarous that needed to be tamed and guided with strong hands.
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