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Title:Problematizing a 'fundamentalist' ideology: a close analysis of Atef Hetata's 'The Closed Doors' and Phil Mullaly's 'The Martyrs of Uganda'
Author:Mushengyezi, AaronISNI
Periodical:Journal of African Cinemas
Geographic terms:Egypt
Abstract:This paper discusses Atef Hetata's 'The Closed Doors' (Egypt, 1999) and Phil Mullaly's 'The Martyrs of Uganda' (1996) and the ways in which they problematize a 'fundamentalist' vision. While Islamic fundamentalism is a major problem in Egypt, Uganda is predominantly Christian. However, the country has a history of radical Christianity that led to the murder of Christian converts by Kabaka (king) Mwanga II of Buganda in 1885-1887. The burning alive of 26 Christian converts on 3 June 1886 marked the climax of these events, which are captured in the film 'The Martyrs of Uganda'. Through close reading and analysis of the language, cinematographic and mise en scène elements in these films, the paper examines the filmmakers' portrayal of the dilemmas and dangers posed when extremist religious dogma conflicts with the socioeconomic and political realities and contradictions in society. The paper raises questions about the course of action human beings choose in pursuit of extremist agendas today in a world where tolerance for diversity and multiculturalism has become part and parcel of a new global culture. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract, edited]