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Title:Nation-building movies made in South Africa (1916-18): I.W. Schlesinger, Harold Shaw, and the lingering ambiguities of South African Union
Author:Parsons, NeilISNI
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies (ISSN 1465-3893)
Geographic term:South Africa
film history
nation building
race relations
About person:Harold M. Shaw (1876-1926)ISNI
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/03057070.2013.827003
Abstract:This paper examines three major feature films made in South Africa in 1916-18, and still surviving in archives. All three films were directed and/or scripted by Harold Marvin Shaw. 'De Voortrekkers/ Winning a Continent' (1916) and 'The Symbol of Sacrifice' (1918) were made for the African Film Productions Ltd of I.W. Schlesinger. They were nation-building historical epics promoting rapprochement between Dutch Afrikaner irredentism and British South African colonialism, on the common basis of black disenfranchisement and racial segregation. 'The Rose of Rhodesia' (1918), filmed by Shaw as an independent producer, represented elements of the Cape-based liberal tradition in its portrayal of black and white 'buddies'. By contrast, the novel Mhudi, written in 1920 by the pioneer African nationalist Sol Plaatje, himself a cinephile, presents a fourth alternative nation-building narrative. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]