SOAS Research Online

A Free Database of the Latest Research by SOAS Academics and PhD Students

[skip to content]

Thomas, Michael W. (2015) 'The Local Film Sensation in Ethiopia: Aesthetic Comparisons with African Cinema and Alternative Experiences.' Black Camera, 7 (1). pp. 17-41.

Text - Accepted Version
Download (233kB) | Preview
Alternative Location:


This article explores ways to bridge the critical divide between African cinema and the commercial, digital video films being produced on the continent, focusing specifically on the Amharic-language films of the Ethiopian film industry. Cinema in Ethiopia is distinct from other experiences of cinema in Africa and yet largely unstudied because of the inaccessibility of Amharic to many Western-based scholars. This article will present original research into the (video) film experience in Ethiopia by offering localized perceptions and exploring specific Ethiopian films from a broad film studies perspective. After suggesting possible aesthetic comparisons between African cinema films and locally made popular films in Ethiopia and acknowledging both local and global influences on filmmaking in Ethiopia, I argue that African film and media studies should start to look beyond the moralizing discourse that has long dominated the scholarship and learn from the pleasure and popularity generated by video films in diverse African contexts.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: School Research Centres > Centre for Media and Film Studies
ISSN: 19474237
Copyright Statement: © 2015 Indiana University Press Board of Directors. This is the accepted manuscript of an article published by Indiana University Press in Black Camera, available online:
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2019 14:19

Altmetric Data


Download activity - last 12 monthsShow export options
Downloads since deposit
6 month trend
6 month trend
Accesses by country - last 12 monthsShow export options
Accesses by referrer - last 12 monthsShow export options

Repository staff only

Edit Item Edit Item