Interpreting Tanzanian Cinema through a Transnational Lens


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships


Fine and Performing Arts


This study examines the cinematic flow of the Tanzanian video film industry from 1990s-2011 and assesses how, through its border crossing nature in terms of production, distribution, and consumption, it has become a transnational cinema: one that transcends borders and captures the imagination of the Tanzanian people, the diaspora, and beyond. Through a transnational theoretical framework, this study explains how Tanzanian video films, rooted in the local/global cinematic landscape, create dialogue among geographically diverse communities in Africa and beyond. Video and films under consideration include “Maangamizi: the Ancient One” (2001), “Dar 2 Lagos” (2006), “A Trip to America” (2009), “Tusamehe” (2005), “Bongoland” (2003), and “Bongoland II: There is No Place Like Home” (2008) to elaborate this transnational connection and examine its impact on the reception of Tanzanian cinema at home and abroad.