Monday, April 26, 2010

Come Back Africa: Two Early Anti-Apartheid Films

On Saturday, I attended a screening of two erly anti-apartheid films at the BFI.

"Come Back Africa" is an extraordinary film set in Johannesburg and Sophiatown in 1950. It features a cameo by Miriam Makeba.

The documentary "The End of the Dialogue" was made in 1959. We were fortunate to have two of the filmmakers at the screening.

These were the two earliest anti-apartheid films. "Come Back Africa" was made at a time when no one outside of South Africa was interested in apartheid.

Both of these films were made in secrecy and exposed the evils of apartheid to international audiences.

These films broke my heart. They didn't really tell or show me anything I didn't already know about apartheid. But seeing how Black people were treated, the patronising attitudes of the white people, the abuse, the poverty, the sense of helplessness as Black people tried to live normal lives under this appalling system, made this a very strong experience.

One thing that particuarly struck me was the level of resources, in terms of time, money and energy, the apartheid regime was willing to invest in breaking up African families.

These films remind us that not only were we stolen from Africa, Africa was stolen from us.

To read more, see ANC Welcomes Ruling.

To read more about the psychological effects of apartheid, racial discrimination and caste oppression see Dr. Ambedkar, Visionary.

See also: Why We Need to Heal.

Black Film: Babylon

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