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African Video Movies and Global Desires. A Ghanaian History

Summary of Article by Carmela Garritano, 2013

In this work, the author examines the pleasures which African movies (with focus on Ghana and some of Nigeria) offer and the ambivalence they generate. She analyses the practice and impact of video in Ghana, drawing from the experiences of video makers and the response of the audiences. The author opines that though the film medium has been impracticable in Africa, the video, an inexpensive, widely available and easy-to-use technology has radically transformed the African cultural landscape. This medium, Garritano contends, has permitted video makers in Ghana and Nigeria to create a tremendously popular, commercial cinema for audiences in Africa and abroad. According to the author, the tremendous success of William Akuffo’s Zinabu (1987) which was enthusiastically received by Ghanaian audiences sparked the video boom in the country. By 2009, Ghanaian movies appeared at the rate of about six per week. She examines the evolution of film production in Ghana, from the early years to the more professional productions, underscoring the practice, content and reception of video films in Ghana and the Diaspora, with examples from other parts of Africa.