Black Power on Film
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Published in: May-June 2008 issue.


The Witch’s FlightThe Witch’s Flight:  The Cinematic, the Black Femme, and the Image of Common Sense
by Kara Keeling
Duke University Press.  209 pages, $22.95


AT FIRST GLANCE, this scholarly analysis of the impact of cinema and television on “common sense” (commonly accepted but not necessarily sensible) images of “blacks” and “women” within a racist, sexist, homophobic, postcolonial, capitalist culture looks like a summary of earlier theories. Keeling draws especially on Gilles Deleuze’s conception of “the cinematic” as a means of creating—not simply reflecting—social reality. Along the way, she refers to the theories of Franz Fanon, Angela Davis, Karl Marx, and Antonio Gramsci. Finding Keeling’s own thesis among all the references to her intellectual forebears requires some effort.

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