Contemporary African filmmakers are transforming African cinema as they move beyond the social realist aesthetic directives of independence times to explore the struggles and triumphs of Africans living in globalized contexts. In particular, documentary filmmaking stresses the interrelationship between multiple histories (colonial, national, and personal) as they collide with social, political, and economic imperatives. Starting with Édouard Glissant’s concept of relational poetics, this article explores reterritorialization and deterritorialization in Idrissou Mora-Kpai’s Arlit: Deuxième Paris (2004, Niger/France) and Jean-Marie Teno’s Sacred Places (2009, Cameroon/France). In particular, the article considers how the films reterritorialize documentary aesthetics through the use of landscape and testimony as metaphors for Africa’s post-colonial struggles. In doing so, the documentaries create an inner space for spectators to consider the social and political costs of global exploitation from an African perspective.

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