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NollywoodThe Creation of Nigerian Film Genres$
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Jonathan Haynes

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226387819

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226388007.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 04 June 2020

Family Films

Family Films

(p.77) Chapter 4 Family Films

Jonathan Haynes

University of Chicago Press

The “family film” is the most common Nigerian film genre, its prominence related to the importance of women as consumers of Nollywood films. The family film’s melodramatic mode infiltrates other genres. Nollywood’s initial framing of the genre focused on the prosperous urban middle class nuclear family—a particular form of the African family, in tension with more extended versions. Often a Christian companionate marriage is under siege from extended kin or threatened internally by adultery. Betrayal by intimates is the most prevalent of all Nollywood themes. A close reading of Amaka Igwe’s Violated illustrates Nollywood’s typical reformulations of transnational forms of romantic comedy and television serials: fertility issues trump all others, and interest is deflected from the moment of romantic choice to threats to already constituted marriages. Various supernatural forces that may manifest themselves in this genre are catalogued: ghosts, divination, sorcery, spirit possession, and Pentecostalism.

Keywords:   Genre, African family, women, women filmmakers, supernatural, melodrama, companionate marriage, romantic comedy, television serials

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