‘Africa Addio’ hopes dashed by movie’s bias

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Ronel Ghidey

Entering this movie, I expected to watch a film about the struggles of Africa during the 20th century at a time when the Europeans occupied most African countries in the “Scramble for Africa.” Instead, I came in and watched a movie that decided to talk about the state of Africa after the European occupation.
I must say, I was dissapointed if not just completely offended by the film.
Throughout the movie, the narrator uses this metaphor about how Europe is the “mother of Africa” and how it helped it prosper and grow; and kept it civil. Little attention does it pay to all the troubles caused by the Europeans to the African continent. This film also decided to take a point of view where it showed “black supremacy” and showed whites in Africa as the oppressed, which regardless of what this single documentary would like to state, was a very rare occurrence and was shown in the documentary as if it were on the same plane of existence as the enslavement of Africans in their own countries by foreigners — whites.
But personal biases aside, there were more technical things I didn’t like about the movie, but since it was made in 1966 I’ll set most of those aside except for the narrator. Throughout the entire movie there is a narrator who explains the scenes and help translate whenever necessary. He speaks with such a monotone that it makes it easy to fall asleep, especially in a 9 p.m. showing. Also, throughout the movie, the director switches from talking about anarchy in cities to Africa and then cut to the illegal ivory trade in a way that didn’t flow, not to mention the fact that there’s allegations about this movie having staged scenes especially about this one scene that depicted animal cruelty.
If there was one thing that pleased me about this movie it was the accuracy of how they depicted some of the massacres in Kenya and Rwanda, which shows that even 50 years ago, they were able to get risky shots of some of the worst events of the twentieth century.
Regardless of that one aspect, I was disappointed by this film because it’s supposed to be a documentary that claims to be unbiased. Yet it only shows the worst sides of Africa after the Europeans left and contrasts European civilization with the savagery of Africans. I was not only disappointed about the way this movie was executed but also enraged about how biased it is against Africa as a continent, which shows, yet again, if you get at least two countries of the 40-plus in Africa on camera you’ve basically depicted the entire continent as a whole. All in all, I’m just glad I didn’t have to pay for the film and wouldn’t recommend you spend your money on it either.
Did you see Africa Addio at the True/False Film Festival this weekend? What were your thoughts? Leave a comment below.