“My cinema is not diplomatic, it is confrontational”: Decolonial framing of the home in two documentaries by Rosine Mbakam

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Le Hegarat, Julie
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Film and Screen Media, University College Cork
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This article centers on two documentaries about migrant women in their home: At Jolie Coiffure (Chez Jolie Coiffure, 2018) and Delphine’s Prayers (Les Prières de Delphine, 2021), both directed by by Rosine Mbakam. I put in conversation the home as a private space and the home as a national construction which creates categories of exclusion and restrictions. I argue that Rosine Mbakam performs an act of “decolonial framing” by taking an antiethnographic approach and creating documentary events—including the filmmaking process, the film viewing, and real-life interactions centering on the film. This transnational cinema of confrontation creates community for Black, diasporic, and African audiences while reversing the gaze against white audiences. Mbakam films the home to showcase instances of resistance to institutional racism and colonial duress. Showing the home on screen also opens the way to create better homes for all through multiple avenues of participation. First, I analyse Mbakam’s filmmaking process and her own involvement on screen as a co-creative act, I then look at her composition which reflects the complex dwellings of the protagonists and how they are shaped by architecture. Finally, I look at the reception of her films to show how her mobile cinema activities provide the infrastructure for making new home spaces.
Decolonial cinema , African cinema , Francophone cinema , Documentary , Women filmmakers
Le Hegarat, J. (2024) ''My cinema Is not diplomatic, it is confrontational': Decolonial framing of the home in two documentaries by Rosine Mbakam', Alphaville: Journal of Film and Screen Media, 26, pp. 6-24. doi: https://doi.org/10.33178/alpha.26.01
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