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South Africa's Renegade Reels seeks to understand the way certain films take on exemplary/iconic status in a country like South Africa where the historical production of film has been minimal, and in a context of intense political reality. The book lays bare the public critical engagements around old renegade films and new ones. It dissects their subtleties in the public lives of forgotten films from South Africa that are oriented to black social experience—Come Back, Africa (1959), uDeliwe (1975), Mapantsula (1988), alongside a new one, Fools (1998), and a television comparator Yizo Yizo (1999-2001)—excavating from the record iconic and newer black-centered films and television. Through analysis of public reflections on the films' representations of black identity, the book shows the complex nature of films in modern public life. In doing so, the book enriches and is enriched by established methodologies of film study, by expanding the cultural and conceptual boundaries of film as a phenomenon of textual circulation.

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