Cinema of the Black Atlantic – Syllabus

August 23, 2023 John Drabinski

Cinema of the Black Atlantic – Syllabus

AASD350 – Wednesdays 2-4:30 – fall semester 2023

This course (syllabus: HERE) examines the cinema of the black Atlantic world – in our case, that world between Africa and the Americas. In particular, we will watch and critically engage key filmmakers from Africa, the Caribbean, and the United States in order to understand cinema’s relationship to colonialism, liberation struggle, vernacular culture, and questions intra-racial diversity. We will also examine the relationship between race, nation, and fantasies about identity and meaning.

Filmmakers and films examined in the course:

Robert Townsend, Hollywood Shuffle

Ousmane Sembène, La noir de… and Mandabi

Cy Enfield, Zulu 

Gillo Pontecorvo, Battle of Algiers

Stephanie Black, Life and Debt

Sarah Maldoror, Sambizanga

Jean-Marie Teno, Clando

Julie Dash, Daughters of the Dust

Haile Gerima, Sankofa

Melvin van Peebles, Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song

Spike Lee, Mo’ Better Blues

Perry Henzell, The Harder They Come

Charles Burnett, Killer of Sheep

Jack Hill, Coffy and Foxy Brown

Marlon Riggs, Tongues Untied and Black Is, Black Ain’t

Cheryl Dunye, The Watermelon Woman

Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

John Sayles, Brother from Another Planet

Mati Diop, Atlantic