I have spent all day reading articles on Nigerian film that I realized I had not yet read and needed to do so speedily before finishing my proposal. Via my library link I was able to get access to a fabulous issue of Film International (2007) 5:4. Most of the articles seem to have gotten beyond the cliched and simplistic haranguing of Nigerian films for not fulfilling some "universal" standard of "quality," and instead delve into the complex and revolutionary contributions Nigerian film is making to world cinema.
However, when I finished reading John McCall's article “The Pan-Africanism we Have: Nollywood’s invention of Africa”, I had to post his postscript, which described what tha Ousmane Sembene, (may he rest in peace), often proclaimed the "Father" of African cinema, recently said about the Nigerian film industry:
I quote from John McCall:
"A few years ago I was fortunate to be among a group of American scholars gathered in Dakar for an NEH Institute to discuss the current state of African cinema. Over the course of the Institute, the question of whether Nollywood movies should be taken seriously became a point of heated discussion. One day we were fortunate to have Ousmane Sembene as a guest speaker. When he completed his presentation, the first question he was asked was what he thought of the new Nigerian video movies. We were all eager to hear what the venerable father of African cinema had to say on this subject. Sembene smiled just a bit, removed the ever-present pipe from his mouth, and said that the Nigerians had found a way to reach the African audience--and that, he acknowledged--was a very great accomplishment. A true revolutionary, Sembene said that the Nigerians had shown the way to reach the African audience, and that African film-makers should rethink their devotion to celluloid film and recognize that video was better suited to the vital task at hand" (McCall 96).
McCall, John C. “The Pan-Africanism we Have: Nollywood’s invention of Africa.” Film International. 5:4 (2007): 92-97.
And, so, my brothers and sisters, I stand vindicated for, in a recent paper, comparing the farcical portrayal of a neocolonial elite in Sembene's film Xala to the farcical portrayal of said elite in Kingsley Ogoro's Osuofia in London, (for those who have seen it think of the "mirror scene" in which the British-Nigerian lawyer begins to lose his accent). I rest my case....