Films about Africa

This blog started by listing films that depicted women in more than minor roles, and the question arose: what about other people? Well, the women-friendly film list was devised not to forget lesbians, trans women and women of colour, but women are definitely not the only category with the representation of which cinema has issues. I started to consider the representation of Africa in movies. Here is my provisional film-list, including European and American films made about/set in Africa, African films and everything in between… Please comment with further suggestions.

Casablanca (1942) by Michael Curtiz

Notes Towards an African Orestes (1970) by Pier Paolo Pasolini

Xala (1975) by Ousmane Sembene

Black and White in Color (1976) by Jean-Jacques Annaud

Ceddo (1977) by Ousmane Sembene

Une Femme en Afrique (1985) by Raymond Depardon

Camp of Thiaroye (1988) by Ousmane Sembene

La Captive du désert (1990) by Raymond Depardon

Naked Lunch (1991) by David Cronenberg

Afriques: Comment ça va avec la douleur? (1996) by Raymond Depardon

Kirikou and the Sorceress (1998) by Michel Ocelot

Lumumba (2000) by Raoul Peck

Ali (2001)

Waiting for happiness (2002) by Abderrahmane Sissako

Amandla! A Revolution in Four Part Harmony (2002) by Lee Hirsch

Abouna (Our Father) (2002) by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun

Moolade (2004) by Ousmane Sembene

Hotel Rwanda (2004) by Terry George

Darwin’s Nightmare (2004)

The Constant Gardener (2005) by Fernando Meirelles

Desert Rebels – Ishumars, The Forgotten Rockers of the Desert (2006) by François Bergeron

Last King of Scotland (2006) by Kevin MacDonald

Goodbye Bafana (2007) by Bille August

District 9 (2009) by Neill Blomkamp

6 thoughts on “Films about Africa

  1. The Gods Must Be Crazy 1980 (Actually a South African film, apparently, but note the date)
    Blood Diamond 2006
    Invictus 2009
    Machine Gun Preacher 2011
    Kony 2012 (LOLOLOLOLOLLOL)
    Two versions of Flight of the Phoenix, 1965 and 2004.

    Definitely some Bond films.

    Arguably films about Guerillas Gorillas. Usually have a few scenes set in Africa at least, and are sublimated depictions of the African in the state of nature.

    So King Kong 1933, and Might Joe Young (both 1949, apparently, and 1998)

    Was Lumumba any good?

    • Damn. Meant to do “Guerillas” with strikethrough tags, but it appears WordPress has edited out my typographic punning.

  2. Thanks!
    Kony 2012 is actually probably a good illustration of a lot of issues about the representation of Africa for Europeans and Africans (and by extension in a large part of movies). I guess it could be ethical to screen it that way?
    I saw Lumumba a very long time ago, before we learnt about him at school, so I really liked him, but it might just be enthusiasm about learning he ever existed… Still, I bet it’s a more thought-provoking film than most. You should definitely watch it and let me know.

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