The Film Commentator in West Africa: The Cook, the Interpreter, His Assistant, and Their Audience
The Film Commentator in West Africa examines the conditions and reception of propaganda film screenings imposed by colonial institutions and compares them to current video projections by local NGOs in West Africa: particularly focusing on the role of the live commentator (bonimenteur). Drawing upon archival research in Belgian, British, and French colonial archives, as well as interviews with Burkinabés who have personal experience with such screening activities, Bouchard establishes links between colonial and contemporary practices of audio-visual consumption in West Africa. Placed within a theoretical inquiry on the impact of temporal media on our relationship with direct and mediatized orality, this project will be relevant to specialists in Film, Communication, and Media and Cultural Studies, especially those that engage with the history of colonialism, and African cinema and cultures.
Vincent Bouchard is assistant professor of Francophone Studies at Indiana University. He is the author of Pour un cinéma léger et synchrone à Montréal! (Septentrion University Press, 2012). He also co-edited an issue of the scientific journal Cinémas (Le bonimenteur et ses avatars, Cinémas, vol. 20, n° 1, 2010), and the book Dialogues du cinema (Nota Bene, 2016).