Africa Addio

Repost from the old site. Africa Addio is an incredible movie, must watch for anyone who wants to understand post-colonial Africa. Tragically, the movie is now banned in a number of European countries as a racist flick, but it is nothing of the sort. This just shows you where PC insanity leads.
A great movie. I just got through watching it. Africa Addio or Farewell Africa is an Italian documentary film shot in 1964 and released in 1966. The film, by famous Italian documentary film directors Gualtiero Jacopetti and Franco E. Prosperi, is about the decolonization of Africa. There’s some great music by the Italian composer Riz Ortolani.
The directors had earlier become famous with the release of Mondo Cane, a famous shock documentary.
It was released in the US in a censored version called Africa Blood and Guts, with all the fine music cut out. Jacopetti and Prosperi disassociated themselves from this American perversion of their film.
The film has English subtitles so you can follow right along.
Tragically, the film was condemned by the PC Orthodox anti-racist idiots who rule our Western world. It has subsequently been banned in Italy and the UK as “racist.” Much criticism nowadays has centered on the movie being racist, misleading, exploitative, or staged. In particular, film critic Roger Ebert has singled the film out as racist.
Jacopetti was tried in Italy on charges of murder on the grounds that one of the executions in the movie was staged for the film. He was acquitted.
All of this is quite unfortunate. 1964-1966 was not exactly the height of racial liberalism in the West.
A friend in Italy tells me that Jacopetti and Prosperi were both liberal and progressive men, and neither one was racist or fascist in any way. He described them both as “open-minded”. He also said that in Italy it is understood that the directors blamed colonialism for creating the conditions that led to much of the violence depicted in the film.
The film simply tells the truth about decolonization in Africa. It was brutal, horrid, stupid and genocidal. In quite a few ways, colonialism did seem better. Immediately after decolonization, there were horrible tribal wars. In the course of these tribal wars, there was horrible massacres of men, women and children of opposing tribes.
Arabs, up to 30,000 of them, were singled out and massacred in Zanzibar. In some cases, Whites were killed, even as they were trying to flee the country. In at least one case, the Simba Rebellion in Congo, the Simbas committed mass cannibalism on the opposing forces. Hutus slaughtered 18,000 Tutsis.
There are scenes all through the movie of scores or hundreds of bodies lying all over beaches, towns and jungles, or piled in mass graves. We watch the killers as they do their dirty work.
It’s not a pretty movie.
At the same time as humans were being slaughtered, so were animals. Under colonialism, great game reserves had been set up, and men had scarcely been allowed to enter at all. If they did, they were to keep their voices down to not disturb the animals.
With decolonization, all Hell broke loose. At one point, the animal slaughter was so bad that the Africans called the British Army back in to set up the game reserves again. This was quickly amended, and every Friday was kill the animals day. We watch helpless as hunters, White and Black, massacre animals – hippos, elephants, gazelle, cape buffalo, crocodiles, by the thousands.
Apparently at some point later on, some sane people came to power and the animal slaughter drastically tapered off. Because if the animal slaughter depicted in this movie would have been allowed to continue, there would not be one large wild mammal left in the continent.
The animal slaughter has continued, but the grim scenario predicted in the movie has not come to fruition. Large game reserves have been set up, and large mammals still in general have decent populations, except for a few like rhinos.
44 years after decolonization, it’s amazing that there are any large mammals left in Africa at all. I think we should give Africans some credit. It’s been 44 years, and they haven’t killed all the big animals yet.
The horrible tribal wars seem to have tapered off, though there are still some horrible wars in Sudan and the Congo. For most of Africa, there is peace or relative peace; the horrible, insane and stupid massacres of the decolonization period have not continued or rematerialized. This is good.
In 1964, it seemed that Africa was going to continue in racist and tribal genocide and mammal slaughter until most of the people and all of the big animals were gone. This has not occurred. Africa has proved better than our worst fears, and it’s been nearly a half century.
Let’s give them some credit.
In part, I think that the horrible leaders and parties of the decolonization period have been followed by much better leaders and political parties in most nations.
The film also discusses South Africa, and predicts that it will not last. They were right.
The film is being distributed now on the Net at least in part by White Supremacist assholes, but that figures, and it doesn’t make it a bad movie, except if you’re an anti-racist loon.
The truth just hurts sometimes. During the decolonization period, a lot of Africans were acting really bad. That’s history. Now a lot of Africans are acting a lot better. That’s progress.

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3 thoughts on “Africa Addio”

  1. Excellent film. Poor animals. That guy who gets shot once in the chest, and again in the head, apparently, he burned 26 children alive. I just noticed that they said that prior when I watched portions of the documentary for the second time.

  2. Perhaps this is just me being an ‘anti- racist loon’, but I think you’ll find a lot of Europeans did some ‘really bad’ things when Africa was under colonial rule like, oh I don’t know, off the top of my head, slavery?? Perhaps it was living under a regime which taught blacks to believe that they were basically savages and wild animals, and that their lives were cheap and worthless, which led to some of the hideous atrocities depicted in Africa Addio. Perhaps if the directors did blame colonialism for the carnage they witnessed then they should have focused a little less on sensationalist imagery and a little more on the horrendous conditions forced upon Africans under colonial rule. I bet the people of Africa will be dead pleased with the credit you recognise as their due though – they’re not so uncivilised after all, who knew??!!

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