Wednesday, 15 April 2009
Leading examples of 'mondo' from the directors of Goodbye Uncle Tom
Sat 25 Apr 14:00
Shockumentary depicting the turmoil following the fall of colonialism. A cause of outrage, decide yourself whether it's the work of devious and dangerous film-makers or a brave experiment in documentary.A panel discussion with Colin Prescod of the Institute of Race Relations and Mark Goodall, 'mondo' historian, will follow this screening.Tickets £5
Africa Addio is a famed 1966 Italian documentary film about the end of the colonial era in Africa. The film was released under the names "Africa Blood and Guts" in the USA (which was only half of the entire film) and "Farewell Africa" in the UK. The film was shot over a period of three years by Gualtiero Jacopetti and Franco Prosperi, two Italian filmmakers who had gained fame (along with co-director Paolo Cavara) as the directors of Mondo Cane in 1962. This film ensured the viability of the so-called Mondo film genre, a cycle of "shockumentaries"- documentaries featuring sensational topics, which classifications arguably characterize "Africa Addio". It is included in the "Mondo Cane Collection" currently being distributed by Blue Underground.
The film contains evidence of cynical treatment of humanity to itself, as seen during the first wave of what became endemic African revolutions. The film includes gruseome evidence of the Zanzibar revolution- which included the massacre of approximately 5000 Arabs in 1964., as well authentic footage of the 'Mau-Mau Rebellion's aftermath. The latter includes scenes of damage at the scenes of massacres on white Highland farms, the mutilation of British livestock (and, apparently, wild animals including baboons), participants' sentencing in colonial British court, & their re-appearance at the popular celebration of Jomo Kenyatta's pardon of all Mau-Mau 'heroes' of anti-colonial resistance.
The film has been hailed as a masterpiece by some but has also been criticized as being racist, misleading, exploitive, or staged. The film arrived at the height of the Cold War, and well-before the popularity of 'de-contextual' reconsiderations of Colonialism.