How to Impress Your Properly-Assimilated Francophone African Woman with Your African Film Knowledge
Suppose you are a chap with the boyish charm of Jean-Louis Bergougnoux with doe eyes gleaming through the five-o’clock shadow of love (like an unshaven Mathieu Amalric) and let’s pretend you are dating the most stunning Francophone African Woman I have ever seen (but I will never really meet). You, of course—through preexisting socio-economic conditions that are ‘accidentally’ to your advantage—have already gained access to her. Even though this babe is fluent in English you can speak French—which is like her native language. After years of post-modern, mass-media missionary education, she finds you attractive and completely fascinating. You might want to impress her with a dinner party for two at your plush flat with the state-of-the-art entertainment system. You have taken her outdoors already and now it’s time to get her near your bed. My suggestion, old boy, are these two films: Sia, The Dream Of the Python (Sia, le rêve du python) and Genesis (La Genèse).
What is most important is that you have two films to show to your darling because this means she will either have to leave your incredibly comfortable flat too late at night or succumb to staying over and getting it on. But do mention first that both of these films star the legendary Sotigui Kouyaté—who is like the Morgan Freeman of the French-speaking world. This implies that you have a truly talented older black man that is extremely agreeable with white authority figures—both in front of and behind the camera—to safely admire. You can go even further and expound on that incredibly fruitful relationship Sotigui Kouyaté has with Peter Brook—the jewel crowing this collaboration is my favorite (seriously), The Mahabharata.
Over dinner you and your luscious, highly-educated, professionally-employed, sable temptress can celebrate how European film crews help make African cinema happen. Both Sia and Genesis are warmly embracing European artisans. The probability that your beaux is aware of how, say, Ousmane Sembène regarded this situation is very low.
By the time Sia and Genesis are over, your woman will have witnessed two rapes perpetrated by African males on African females—one in each movie. She will have endured about three hours of depressed, violent, almost totalitarian, fictional-but-pre-colonial African societies. Yes, some viewers may understand that Sia is based on a fable and Genesis is based on another legend. But the fictional worlds of these films just kiss fits with the whitewashed history that Europeans have been telling young Africans for centuries—Africans like this young, sleek, sexy African with silky long legs sinking down into the cushions of your thirty-five-hundred-dollar couch. And the subconscious force of these messages works so well on your girl as she melts into your arms—you seem to be like a refuge to her—and you just want to lick that chocolate! She can turn away from that horrible African imagery and escape into your aesthetic.
Incredible! You have paid your respects to African culture and completely dismissed it at the same time. She’ll never figure this out! Since she’s already sitting on your bed—that Sonno Versa CoolMax Mattress (~$3000), she would not want to…
So, dude, since your cosmopolitan African woman has been conditioned since birth to compete vigorously for you, let me leave you with some tips (not that you really need help) just in case you want to go overboard with the cake and its icing:
- This shot from Sia will allow you to compare this African film with the mainstream Hollywood blockbuster The Lord of the Rings. Look at the swords. Your woman will be impressed by your ability to speak of these very different movies—across huge racial boundaries—in the same breath. This will reinforce her need to know that you are not a closet racist just trying to wax the best educated, best prepared female ass on the face of the Earth.
- In Genesis when the subtitles come up saying, “Can their be peace when a woman’s involved?,” make sure you hold your head in your hand and shake it. She will ask you what’s wrong. And you can invoke the possibility that the lives of African women are better now than in the days before colonialism. She, of course, is the living example of this. Since she is so, so red-hot fine, the possibility that she is unaware of the uniqueness of her brain-draining situation is very high. She will probably forget about the lives of rural women living under the plans of European and American central bankers. Dude, you got it made. All these billions of dollars of high-tech media working for your advantage. You even have African filmmakers being “innovative” and “challenging” by ultimately insulting themselves for your benefit. Now slap that ass like Jefferson did it in Monticello!
- Don’t forget that Salif Keita is in Genesis! Remember to put his MP3s in the mix before you turn the lights out! You can always mention that he probably did not work on the soundtrack of this film in order to concentrate on his acting. I wonder who actually did the soundtrack and the sound engineering in general on these films…? Hmm…Since this writing is already appearing to come from an author wearing a red black and green liberation jump suit, it may help to mention that I, the “super-black” author of the words you are reading now, did not know until recently (less than a month) what Ousmane Sembène thought of African film productions “aided” by European professionals. In the 2008 compilation, Ousmane Sembène: Interviews (edited by Annett Busch and Max Annas) on pages 185–185, this is what he said (translated from the French):
It’s crazy how they plug it into our heads. But that’s not aid. These are contractual arrangements. We are bound by agreements. When we make a film with French and European agencies, they get a piece. They have their rights when the picture is completed, and they use it to their own ends, in addition to cataloguing it in their libraries as if their own. On the other hand when I make a film with their participation, I contribute to the development of their film industry by hiring their men and women. They don’t help me! Nobody helps me! I’m not a beggar.
Surely these exclamations from some old, strange, Senegalese man sound like the little whining intonations from a distant pedestrian several steel floors down from your lush rooms. You turn from the window’s introspection and see the moonlight gleaming on her sleeping body. The soft, tight curls of her natural hair seem to twinkle with every inhale and exhale of her hypnotic breathing. She would often complain about how her own brother would tease her about her “natural” hair style. But you truly find it beautiful and she clings to you for this too… You are very pleased that the African love of your life decided to stay.
Author’s note: In case you are an actual Black woman reading this “drivel,” then check out the ‘flip’ side of this so-called “interracial” thing in my streaming audio spoken word, “girlfriend is paulacole” (in my collection “Bryan D. Wilhite: Invisible Man”), here in the kinté space.