‘You Kiss in Westerns’: Cultural translation in Moustapha Alassane’s Le retour d’un aventurier | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 5, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1754-9221
  • E-ISSN: 1754-923X



Le retour d’un aventurier/The Return of an Adventurer, a 1966 short film by Nigerien director Moustapha Alassane, stands at the forefront of a long history of fascination with cowboys in African film-making (Alassane, 1966a). This article revisits Le retour via recent theoretical considerations of cultural assimilation and translation, to argue that instances of cultural appropriation from non-African sources should not be dismissed under the rubric of cultural imperialism. Instead they should be thought of as functioning within specific local, national and global economies of cultural production. By focusing on the production of film in an African space rather than on its consumption, I explore the agential nature of cultural appropriation. Such theoretical reorientation remains necessary in African studies where questions of authenticity and origin, as well as political intention, persist despite abundant evidence testifying to the heterogeneity of African cinema’s central motifs and preoccupations.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): Alassane; audience; cowboy; ethics; identification; race
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