Narratives of Rectitude and Extremist Ideology in Selected Kenyan Feature Films

https://doi.org/10.58256/njhs.v1i10.788

Authors

  • Anne Mungai Department of Film and Theatre Arts, Kenyatta University, Kenya
  • John Mugubi Department of Film and Theatre Arts, Kenyatta University, Kenya

Abstract

The main objective of this paper is to explicate the way the content of films provide context for analysis of ideological perspectives raised within the film. This article starts with a summary of terrorism in Nairobi. This provides background information about the later arguments. Then the study discusses the embeddedness of social narration within the films’ diegesis, what Turner (1999, p. 48) calls the “system of values”, as represented through various film elements; cinematography, mise-en-scène, and composition. The study uses systems here as an ideological reference to imply the cultural orientations upon which terrorism is often discussed: religious, global, domestic, and so on. Other matters that the study discusses here include the construction of religious binaries as ideological binaries, the use of space as a tableau on which ideological patterns are mapped, and the use of aerial space to map out global hegemonic narratives. From here, the study classifies subsequent arguments into two broad subsections. The first deals with the materiality of innocence. By materiality the study means the essence of innocence as an ideological element that can spell out travesty of morality such as typified by the films’ debate of violence. The second deals with interconnectedness between Islamic religion and violence, that is, how Islam and its symbols have been appropriated within the films to create and continue a conversation of irrationality and absurdity. The result of these is seen to be violence and trauma. The approach in all these sections is to use close reading of the film language, including cinematography, composition, montage, and even dialogue to support and propel the discussions.

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FILMOGRAPHY

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Published

2022-04-30

How to Cite

Mungai, A., & Mugubi, J. (2022). Narratives of Rectitude and Extremist Ideology in Selected Kenyan Feature Films. Nairobi Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 1(10). https://doi.org/10.58256/njhs.v1i10.788

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Articles