Each of the book's fifteen original essays focuses on a particular film that directly treats the enslavement of Africans and their descendants in the New World. Beginning with an essay on the Cuban film El otro Francisco (1975), Sergio Giral's reworking of a nineteenth-century abolitionist novel, the book proceeds to examine such works as the landmark miniseries Roots (1977), which sparked intense controversy over its authenticity; Werner Herzog's Cobra Verde (1987), which raises questions about what constitutes a slavery film; Guy Deslauriers's Passage du milieu (1999), a documentary-style reconstruction of what Africans experienced during the Middle Passage; and Steve McQueen's Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave (2013), which embodies the tensions between faithfully adapting a nineteenth-century slave narrative and bending it for modern purposes.
Films about slavery have shown a special power to portray the worst and best of humanity, and Celluloid Chains is an essential guide to this important genre.
Publisher: University of Tennessee Press
Number of pages: 372
Dimensions: 229 x 152 mm
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