Postcolonial Agbon-Evbuebo: An Alternative View of an African Language Film

Authors: Osakue Stevenson Omoera (Federal University Otuoke, Nigeria)
Edorodion Agbon Osa (University of Birmingham, United Kingdom)
Speaker: Osakue Stevenson Omoera
Topic: Anthropological Linguistics
The GLOCAL AFALA 2023 General Session


The discourses on Africa and African films by many Euro-American scholars and film critics or experts have often been governed by the doctrine of ‘Otherness,’ which unfortunately has been the bedrock and overarching thoughts of anthropology, sociology, and Hollywood films.  The ‘savage’ African values, norms, beliefs, and cultural practices have often been used to validate the ‘civilised’ high culture of the West – a practice that is encased in the West’s colonial expansionism and missionary crusade that flourished in the 18th and 19th centuries in Africa. Employing the imperial gaze theory as enunciated by Ann Kaplan (1997) and Melissa Thackway’s (2003) theoretical model of the centrality of Eurocentrism in the perception of African films as the “exotic, fundamentally ‘Other,’” this article uses content analysis and historical-analytic methods to examine how the ‘Other’ looks back in indigenous African language films. In doing this, it dialectically reverses the ‘Otherness’ through a postcolonial reading of Agbon-Evbuebo (The White man’s world), a two-part Benin language Nollywood film directed by Ayonmi Young Emiko (2015). The study critically interrogates western orthodoxy and endorses African cultural practices, norms, values and beliefs, with concrete evidences as depicted in Agbon-Evbuebo.

Keywords: Indigenous African language films, Agbon-Evbuebo, Euro-American scholars, other, Benin film, postcolonial reading, Nollywood.