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At the Threshold of New Political Communities: Some Notes on the History of Nollywood's Epic Genre

Matthew H. Brown
The Global South
Vol. 7, No. 1, Nollywood and the Global South (Spring 2013), pp. 55-78
Published by: Indiana University Press
DOI: 10.2979/globalsouth.7.1.55
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/globalsouth.7.1.55
Page Count: 24
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At the Threshold of New Political Communities: Some Notes on the History of Nollywood's Epic Genre
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Abstract

ABSTRACT In this article, I argue that “Nollywood” – Nigeria's English-language video film industry, which emerged in the early 1990s – is possible because of both the postcolonial nation-state's subjection to global capital and the various networks to which a system of global capital gives rise. Processes like these have been operating concurrently in Nigeria since at least the time of the transatlantic slave trade, but they have surfaced in Nigerian cinema culture rather unevenly. At certain historical moments, subjection to capital has played a largely determining role in filmmaking and film policy; at other times, links to transnational networks have been more instrumental. I trace what Fredrick Copper refers to as the “territorializing” and “deterritorializing” processes of global capital by looking at the role that different vectors have played in the development of a particular genre, the epic, and by looking at either side of the historical moment in which a Nigerian motion picture expert, Pete Edochie, made the transition from state motion picture production to the video film industry.

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