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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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(p.214) Chapter 9 Comedies

Jonathan Haynes

University of Chicago Press

Major shifts in Nollywood shortly after 2000 included greatly increased power for the marketers, a shift of filmmaking and financing to the Igbo cities of Asaba, Enugu, and Onitsha, a crisis of overproduction, and comedy emerging as a prominent commercial genre. The figure of the rogue or trickster is central in the Nigerian comic tradition, as is Pidgin, a contact language associated with unofficial laughter, truth-telling, the lower classes, and what Bakhtin called dialogism and the grotesque. Unlike other Nigerian film genres, comedy is weakly associated with a specific location or plot form, often parodying or sharing themes with other genres.. Some films by Nkem Owoh, the greatest Nollywood comic actor, have village settings and perspectives. Issues that cause stress in other genres are treated with confidence in the resilience of communities, but difficulties in the politics of development are presented with sober clarity and complicity.

Keywords:   Film comedy, Nollywood, Asaba, Onitsha, Nollywood marketers, Pidgin, Mikhail Bakhtin, rogue, Nkem Owoh, village, history

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