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The African romantic comedy genre is part of a trend in the cinema of the global South, projecting images of the “global city”. In South Africa, most black romcoms are set in Johannesburg and they too portray it as a glamorous setting for affluent lifestyles and aspirations. But in their storylines and images the films also remind audiences of the city’s real social conflicts and socioeconomic inequalities. They are not simply a celebration of consumerist lifestyles.

In today’s episode of Pasha, Pier Paolo Frassinelli, a professor in communication and media studies at the University of Johannesburg, talks about the rise of the black romantic comedy in South Africa and how it dovetails with the advent of streaming services like Netflix and Showmax.

Read more: South Africa's romcom revolution and how it reimagines Joburg

Photo: “Happiness is a Four-Letter Word movie poster” by Junaid Ahmed.

Music: “Happy African Village” by John Bartmann, found on licensed under CC0 1.

“Gimme That African Vibe by John Bartmann found on licensed under Attribution 4.0 International License..

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