Western Movies Depict Africa as Monolithic Land of Difference and Violence

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia — On rare occasions, the wasteland that is North American television surprises. During a recent dreary, winter morning, an arts channel broadcast a Senegalese movie that depicted life in the lesser corners of Dakar. A female vendor took her abused friend and daughter into her care, and then she fell in love with a corrupt but amiable policeman. Not much happened, and, if it did, this writer missed it because of a scheduled flight out of town. Nevertheless, the Senegalese movie provided an antidote to the conventional portrayal of Africa in a spate of popular Western movies. […]

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