Cinema in a Democratic South Africa

Cinema in a Democratic South Africa

The Race for Representation
Lucia Saks
Distribution: World
Publication date: 07/19/2010
Format: Paperback 27 b&w illus.
ISBN: 978-0-253-22186-5
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Lucia Saks uses South African cinema as a lens through which to view cultural changes resulting from the end of apartheid in 1994. She examines how media transformed the meaning of race and nation during this period and argues that, as apartheid was disbanded and new racial constructs allowed, South Africa quickly sought a new mode of representation as a way to distance itself from the violence and racism of the half-century prior, as well as to demonstrate stability amid social disruption. This rapid search for a new way to identify and portray itself is what Saks refers to as the race for representation. She contextualizes this race in terms of South African history, the media, apartheid, sexuality, the economy, community, early South African cinema, and finally speculates about the future of "counter-cinema" in present-day South Africa.

Author Bio

Lucia Saks is Assistant Professor in the Department of Screen Arts and Cultures, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.


“. . . an important and pathbreaking contribution to film studies and to the literature on South African cinema. . . . No monograph or piece of individual scholarship of this kind exists on cinema in postapartheid South Africa.”
 — Sean Jacobs, University of Michigan

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Table of Contents


1. The Burdens of Representation
2. State and Market Enter the Race
3. The Moment of Truth: Screening the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
4. Community and Pandemic: Cinematic Interventions in STEPS for the Future
5. Quo Vadis? Counter-Cinema in South Africa Today
6. The Dialectic of Reconciliation in De Voortrekkers and Come See the Bioscope


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