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Hollywood and Africa

Recycling the 'Dark Continent' Myth, 1908-2020

by Okaka Opio Dokotum

Hollywood and Africa - recycling the ‘Dark Continent’ myth from 1908–2020 is a study of over a century of stereotypical Hollywood film productions about Africa. It argues that the myth of the Dark Continent continues to influence Western cultural productions about Africa as a cognitive-based system of knowledge, especially in history, literature and film.

Hollywood and Africa identifies the ‘colonial mastertext’ of the Dark Continent mythos by providing a historiographic genealogy and context for the term’s development and consolidation. An array of literary and paraliterary film adaptation theories are employed to analyse the deep genetic strands of Hollywood–Africa film adaptations. The mutations of the Dark Continent mythos across time and space are then tracked through the classical, neoclassical and new wave Hollywood–Africa phases in order to illustrate how Hollywood productions about Africa recycle, revise, reframe, reinforce, transpose, interrogate — and even critique — these tropes of Darkest Africa while sustaining the colonial mastertext and rising cyberactivism against Hollywood’s whitewashing of African history.

ISBN 9781920033668 | 334 pages | 244 x 170 mm | 2020 | NISC (Pty) Ltd, South Africa | Paperback


eBook ISBN: 9781920033682


‘This is an important book that defines the master trope of Africa as the Dark Continent, to show its work in the past and that this mythos is still alive and well in contemporary Hollywood films about Africa[…] Even as it uncovers the continuing Dark Continent motifs, the book also reveals how these films engage contemporary celebrity, military, economic, and political cultures in the development of a neocolonial aesthetic.’

Robert T. Self, English Professor Emeritus, Liberal Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor, Northern Illinois University, USA



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