Africans are a reserved people on the verge of transformation in integrating gender and sexuality in film. There is a substantial difference between reality and the representation of these themes in African cinema. Inadequate information regarding homoeroticism plays a crucial role in integrating sexuality in African Cinema, which has ample room for creativity. This essay analyzes sexuality, censorship, and fair gender representation as ways to develop African cinema.
Homosexuality has been in existence since the onset of film production. While some societies have owned up and adequately represented homosexuality in film production, African society remains adamant. There is almost no coverage of homosexuality in African film throughout history. As a reserved society, Africans tend to shun from talking about this issue even in private settings. There is stigma and fear of reprisal toward to LGBT community in several societies across the globe (Srinivasan et al., 2019). In some scenarios individuals who associate themselves with this community can suffer the public’s wrath and be subject to violence. Notably, discrimination toward homosexuality has its roots firm in African society. Nevertheless, there is need for extensive research on homosexuality in the contemporary African society. To improve African Cinema, the issues of gender and sexuality must be at the forefront of intensive studies. Africa has beautuful stories to tell to the world regardless of gender and sexual affiliations.
Gender and Sexuality instigates the issue of censorship in cinema across the world. At times filmmakers are forced to conform to informal and formal censorship. Filmmakers have an obligation to protect their colleagues including actors and their sexuality. The diverse roles played by different genders can be utilized to create robust frameworks for creativity in film. Inherently, cinema aesthetics such as color, and proximity help filmmakers protect themselves and actors from public prosecution based on gender or sexuality. There are several ways to tell stories about gender and sexualty without exposing actors and filmmakers to retributive justice. Although censorship is essential in regulating cinema, it is often misdirected to prevent the use of gender and sexuality themes in African cinema. Censorship helps prevent children from exposure to inappropriate subjects (Srinivasan et al., 2019). However, censorship must not be used as a tool to oppress filmmakers and actors from telling stories that relate to gender and sexuality to mature audiences.
Unfair gender representation is one of the most debated topics in film. In this regard, African women find themselves at the center stage of a discussion that attempts to understand their representation as victims of male dominance. African women in film have a unique and important role to change their ill-representation as a weak gender. Being classified based on family status, and age are some of the reasons why African cinema fails to truly educate about the African woman. Existing stereotypes portray African women as caregivers and objects of men. It is unfair to continue misrepresenting the African woman in cinema. Notably, men are subject to stereotypes that portray them as the dominant gender. Film critics identify stereotypes regarding African men as dangerous and ignorant. It is up to African filmmakers to take on the role of equal representation of African men and women as heroes of their own land. Issues such as gender and sexuality must be at the forefront of the transformation of African Cinema.
In conclusion, sexuality, censorship, and fair gender representation are ways through which African cinema will develop. African filmmakers have a role to develop Africa cinema and tell true stories regarding gender and sexuality. Issues such as homosexuality have been in existence regardless of minimal representation in African film. Such issues introduce censorship, and stereotypes often used to suppress ideas in African film. Consequently, African society must enhance storytelling and protect storytellers from unfair retributive justice.
Srinivasan, S., Glover, J., Tampi, R. R., Tampi, D. J., & Sewell, D. D. (2019). Sexuality and
the older adult. Current psychiatry reports, 21(10), 1-9.