How many films can you think of that are set in Africa? There are many and here are only some from sub-Saharan Africa in this collection of DVDs.
The Hollywood In Africa DVD collection starts in the 1920's through to the 1930's with Martin and Osa Johnson's movies of their African safaris. They were avid hunters as well as wildlife photographers, authors and movie-makers. While on a safari with George Eastman, their PHs included Philip Percival and Pat Ayre. The Johnson's also met up with the Theodore Roosevelt and Pulitzer safaris on their travels.
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Simba: King Of The Beasts (1927) Martin & Osa Johnson. Journeying to remote and exotic regions, Martin and Osa Johnson produced, wrote and photographed films celebrating the natural wonder and native tribes of Africa, Asia and the South Seas. In 'Simba', they forded crocodile-infested rivers, braved stampeding elephants and stared down angry rhinos in order to film lions in their natural habitat.
In the 1930s, the first of 4 versions of 'King Solomon's Mines' was released and the first 'Jungle Jim' and 'Tarzan' versions hit the silver screen.
Baboona(1935) Martin & Osa Johnson. Here they journey across 60,000 miles of Africa in two small airplanes. The Johnsons share their encounters with a sea of pink flamingos and twenty-five-foot-long crocodiles. The climax of this safari is the discovery of a remarkable land of baboons, the greatest number any explorer ever had found at the time. Martin & Osa Johnson's books and film excerpts
Classic Safari Films 6 disc set. Africa through the lens of the first safaris ever to be captured on film. Experience lost cultures and classic adventures with footage shot on-location by expert safari filmmakers. Includes 4 Martin & Osa Johnson movies - Simba (1927), Congorilla (1932), Baboona (1935) and I Married Adventure (1940).
King Solomon's Mines (1937) starring Paul Robeson, Cedric Hardwicke and Anna Lee. Modern audiences may find the performances in this typical darkest-Africa adventure yarn somewhat creaky. The use of African locations and indigenous tribesmen help to give the film authenticity, and the presence of Robeson (who sings three songs) adds a degree of historical importance to this action-drama.
Jungle Jim (1937) Starring Grant Withers and Betty Jane Rhodes. Jungle Jim goes on safari to darkest Africa to find an heiress who disappeared in the jungle a few years earlier. It turns out the heiress is not really lost but has become the ruler of a tribe of natives. It also appears that she has fallen under the influence of a mysterious figure known as The Cobra. With Jungle Jim's help, she escapes from The Cobra's spell but now the hero and heroine must fight their way back to civilization against all manner of wild beasts and bad guys.
The Tarzan Collection (1932 - 1942) Starring Johnny Weissmuller. Contains 6 Tarzan films on 3 discs: Tarzan The Ape Man (1932), Tarzan Escapes (1936), Tarzan And His Mate (1934), Tarzan Finds A Son! (1939), Tarzan's Secret Treasure (1941), Tarzan's New York Adventure (1942)
The Tarzan Collection: Volume Two (1943-1948) Starring Johnney Weissmuller. Contains 6 Tarzan films on 3 discs: Tarzan Triumphs (1943), Tarzan And The Amazons (1945), Tarzan And The Huntress (1947), Tarzan's Desert Mystery (1943), Tarzan And The Leopard Woman (1946), Tarzan And The Mermaids (1948)
The 1940s continued in much the same vein as the 1930s with 'Jungle Girl' and 'Jungle Queen'.
Africa Screams (1949) Starring Abbott and Costello. They try to pass themselves off as the world's leading African safari hunters, when in reality they'd be lucky to find Africa on a globe. Their tales of bravado are overheard by diamond thieves who take them as their guides on a secret expedition into the heart of Africa.
Jungle Girl (1941) Starring Frances Gifford and Tom Neal. This thrilling adventure was based loosely on the novel 'Jungle Girl' by Edgar Rice Burroughs. It is packed with thrilling cliff-hangers as opposing sides fight for a fortune in diamonds hidden in the African jungle.
Jungle Queen (1945) Starring Ruth Roman and Edward Norris. During World War II, the Nazi High Command sends agents into the African jungle to stir up the local Tongghili tribes against the British Allies. Lothel, the beautiful and mysterious 'Queen of the Jungle', appears as the Tongghili's spiritual leader. In desperation, the Nazis try to kill her by letting loose wild animals, and setting fire to the jungle. Lothel can walk through the flames and can tame even the wildest beast. And in the end, she helps our heroes end the Nazi terror and return peace to the jungle, before vanishing into a sheet of flame.
In the 1950s African movies took a turn for the better when the second and most memorable version of King Solomon's Mines was released in 1950. Hollywood needed authentic African film locations and looked to the hunting safari outfitters of the day to provide the services. David Lunan and Stan Lawrence-Brown outfitted the KSM film unit of 24 people. This King Solomon's Mines is worth watching for the opening scene elephant charge alone. It was a genuine charge with Lawrence-Brown's doing the shooting edited with shots of a suitably heroic-looking Stewart Granger. No harm came to elephant as the shot only stunned him and he got up and rushed to the next country.
Word got out and more movie studios got on the Africa bandwagon in the 1950s with Twentieth Century Fox's 'The Snows of Kilimanjaro' and MGM's 'Mogambo'. Lawrence-Brown and Lunan outfitted Kilimanjaro with Lunan acting as a body double for Gregory Peck as well as a white hunter. Safariland and Bunny Allen with Tom Murray Smith organised the outfitting for 'Mogambo' using 21 other PHs. The equipment taken by road in over 50 trucks from Nairobi to Uganda was phenomenal. It included a table for table tennis and a full hospital kit complete with X-ray machine. You'll have to read Bunny Allen's books for the other shenanigans that went on in the 'Mogambo' bush location.
King Solomon's Mines (1950) Starring Deborah Kerr and Stewart Granger. Novelist H Rider Haggard's hero, Allan Quatermain reluctantly agrees to lead an Englishwoman and her brother deep into uncharted territory in Africa, in search of the lady's lost husband. What follows is a cavalcade of adventure - charging rhinos, cannibals, wildlife stampede, and the thrill of venturing into unmapped lands.
The Snows Of Kilimanjaro (1952) Starring Gregory Peck, Susan Hayward and Ava Gardner. As a renowned writer lies dying on the frozen slopes of Kilimanjaro, he reflects on his life. Based on Ernest Hemingway's award-winning short story.
Mogambo (1953) Starring Ava Gardner, Clark Gable and Grace Kelly. In Africa, a hunter has two women come for safari. One is a worldly, nightclubbing dame and the other a demure, Bostonian wife. Both instantly find the macho man irresistible.
Robert C Ruark's Africa Adventure Filmed in 1954. Narrated by and featured Robert Ruark. Harry Selby and Andrew Holmberg guide Ruark to a 110 pound elephant. Black rhino, leopard and a huge 49" buffalo are taken as well as other species. This film was shot in black and white and the quality is not up to modern day standard. Still it is a rare chance to see what a safari in British East Africa was like during this era.
Something Of Value (1957) Starring Rock Hudson, Dana Wynter and Sidney Poitier. Based on the book by Robert Ruark, this drama is set in Kenya during the bloody Mau Mau rebellions. Childhood friends find themselves on opposite sides when the violence erupts. As the men have their relationship ripped apart by the fighting, they experience the cost of war on a personal level.
Simba: Mark Of Mau Mau (1955) Starring Dirk Bogarde, Virginia McKenna and Donald Sinden. The film is a portrayal of the Mau Mau movement and uprising during the period between 1950 and 1956, in Kenya. It is a tense drama with graphic and gritty action scenes, based on true events.
Safari (1956) Starring Janet Leigh and Victor Mature. A professional hunter seeks vengeance for the death of his son while helping an eccentric millionaire track down an elusive lion for his trophy case.
Beyond Mombasa (1956) Starring Cornel Wilde and Donna Reed. African adventure tale about the hero, who arrives in Africa to find the mysterious killers of his brother who was killed by 'Leopard Men'. He also seeks clues to a hidden uranium mine.
Odongo: Adventure On The African Frontier (1956) Starring Rhonda Fleming and Macdonald Carey. A small East African boy is the sidekick of Carey, a trapper who captures wild animals for zoos and circuses. Trouble starts when a vengeful native, fired by Carey, lets the animals out of their corral on the day a big buyer is to look them over.
The African Queen (1951) Starring Katharine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart. A tired river steamboat 'The African Queen' is manned by the ill-mannered bachelor. Hepburn & Bogart embark on a long difficult journey, without any comfort. She grows determined to assist in the British war effort and they steam up the Ulana encountering an enemy fort, raging rapids, bloodthirsty parasites and endlessly branching stream which always seem to lead them to what appear to be impenetrable swamps. Despite opposing personalities, the two grow closer to each other and ultimately carry out their plan to take out a German warship.
The 16 disc DVD set of the The Jungle Jim Collection with Johnny Weissmuller, is unavailable at present.The following Jungle Jim films are available on DVD separately:
The 1960s brought more African classic movies such as 'Hatari' with John Wayne, 'Zulu' with Michael Caine and the perennial favourite, 'Born Free'.
Hatari! (1962) Starring John Wayne and Elsa Martinelli. A collection of professionals with a common goal - animal trapping in Tanganyika. This is a film about camaraderie, crisp banter, romance and exciting animal sequences.
Dark Of The Sun (1968) Starring Rod Taylor and Yvette Mimieux. Based on the early novel of the same name by Wilbur Smith. A mercenary unit rolling on a steam train across the Congo, headed for the dual tasks of rescuing civilians imperiled by rebels and recovering a cache of diamonds.
Sands Of The Kalahari (1965) Starring Stanley Baker and Susannah York. A chartered plane crashes in a remote African desert after colliding with a swarm of locusts. It's not the harsh surroundings or the vicious baboons that the survivors have to worry about, but a fellow crazed passenger.
The Naked Prey (1966) Starring Cornel Wilde. In the late nineteenth century, after an ivory-hunting safari offends an African tribe, the colonialists are captured and hideously tortured. Only Wilde, a marksman is released, without clothes or weapons, to be hunted for sport, and he embarks on a harrowing journey through savanna and jungle and back to a primitive state.
Zulu (1964) Starring Stanley Baker and Michael Caine. Zulu is a thrilling account of one of history's fiercest battles. As a terrifying war chant echoes across the majestic African plains, 4000 Zulu tribesmen rise up from the tall grass that hides them. Furiously beating their swords against their shields, the warriors descend upon a small garrison of English soldiers.
Born Free (1966) Starring Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers. The tale of how Kenyan game warden George Adamson and his wife Joy Adamson (on whose book the film is based) adopted and raised three orphaned lion cubs, taking a particular shine to the one they call Elsa before helping her return to the wild.
Call Me Bwana (1963) Starring Bob Hope and Anita Ekberg. A breezy comedy with Bob Hope heading for the African jungle where he finds himself on an outrageous safari with elephants, hippos and spies.
Guns At Batasi (1964) Starring Richard Attenborough and Jack Hawkins. A dedicated British soldier is caught in the midst of a revolution in Africa in this compelling war drama. When the head of the British military in Africa is instructed to turn over command to the native militia, he defies orders and arms himself and his followers with a cache of weapons.
Daktari (1966) Starring Marshall Thompson, Cheryl Miller and Hari Rhodes. 5 disc set of 18 episodes of the first TV series. Tracy and his crew handle everything from poachers to diamond thieves to a raging fire that threatens the nearby game reserve.
Clarence, The Cross-Eyed Lion (1965) Starring Marshall Thompson, Betsy Drake and Richard Haydn. Set at an African animal center, the adventure that inspired the TV series Daktari features a veterinarian, heartless gorilla trappers, narrow escapes, lots of laughs and some endearing animals - Doris the chimpanzee, Mary Lou the python, and of course Clarence, a genuinely cross-eyed lion.
The 1970s saw the start of the serious action/adventure films set in Africa, such as shady mercenaries in 'Wild Geese', the true hostage rescue in 'Raid On Entebbe' and Wilbur Smith's books 'Shout At The Devil' and 'Gold' made into movies. In 1972 'Living Free' was released as a sequel to 'Born Free'.
Zulu Dawn (1979) Starring Bob Hoskins, Burt Lancaster and Peter O'Toole. Set in 1879, this film depicts the catastrophic Battle of Isandhlwana, which remains the worst defeat of the British army by natives, with the British contingent outnumbered 16-to-1 by the Zulu tribesmen.
Living Free (1972) Starring Nigel Davenport and Susan Hampshire. The sequel to 'Born Free', 'Living Free' finds the dying Elsa, returning to the Adamsons, who must figure out what to do with Elsa's three cubs, who develop an unfortunate appetite for domestic livestock.
Raid On Entebbe (1977) Starring Peter Finch and Charles Bronson. It is based on the actual event in June 1976 when an Air France plane was hijacked by terrorists who forced the captain to land at Uganda's Entebbe Airport. Operation Entebbe was the name of the Israeli hostage rescue mission carried out at Entebbe Airport on July 4, 1976.
The Wild Geese (1978) Starring Richard Burton, Roger Moore and Richard Harris. The adventures of a group of British mercenaries hired by a shady multinational corporation to free the benevolent leader of an African nation held captive by a ruthless dictator.
Shout At The Devil (1976) Starring Roger Moore and Lee Marvin. During World War One an English poacher, an American adventurer and the latter's attractive young daughter, set out to destroy a German battle-cruiser which is awaiting repairs in an inlet just off Zanzibar.
Gold (1974) Starring Roger Moore and Susannah York. The plot to flood a huge gold mine in South Africa to increase the value of other gold reserves.
Shaft In Africa (1973) Starring Richard Roundtree and Frank Finlay. Shaft is asked to go undercover in Africa to halt the modern-day slave trade by masquerading as an Ethiopian to infiltrate the slave business.
The 1980s highlight of Hollywood in Africa has to be the sumptuous 'Out Of Africa' directed by Sidney Pollack. Ker & Downey tackled the outfitting for the film with 340 people accommodated under canvas. Professional Hunter John Sutton advised on technical hunting details of the era. The trained lions were imported from California because Kenya would not allow wild ones to be used in case they got out of hand and needed to be shot.
The first mainstream films dealing with the apartheid era in South Africa were released in the 1980s such as 'Cry Freedom' and 'A Dry White Season'. 'Cry Freedom' was shot in Zimbabwe and although not banned in South Africa, cinemas showing the film were faced with bomb threats. The third King Solomon's Mines version appeared in 1985, hoping to ride on the success of 'Raiders of the Lost Ark'.
Gorillas In The Mist (1988) Starring Sigourney Weaver and Bryan Brown. The compelling story of an anthropologist, Dian Fossey, whose obsession with gorillas compels her to risk her life in a fight to protect her beloved creatures.
Cry Freedom (1987) Starring Denzel Washington and Kevin Kline. Richard Attenborough directed this true story focusing on the relationship between South African activist Steve Biko and journalist Donald Woods.
A Dry White Season (1989) Starring Donald Sutherland, Janet Suzman and Susan Sarandon. A drama based on Andre Brink's novel about a South African high school history teacher who had been insulated all his life from the horrors of apartheid in his native South Africa. When he finally gets a glimpse into the truly arbitrary and violent nature of the system, he turns into a radical firebrand.
King Solomon's Mines (1985) Starring Richard Chamberlain and Sharon Stone. A tongue-in-cheek version of the classic H Rider Haggard adventure novel. Great White Hunter Allen Quatermain is recruited by Sharon Stone to rescue her father from the clutches of a German colonel and a Turkish slaver, who have captured him to get his map to the legendary diamond mines of King Solomon.
The Dogs Of War (1981) Starring Christopher Walken and Tom Berenger. An action film about a group of mercenaries who are hired to overthrow a dictator in West Africa.
Out Of Africa (1985) Starring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford. About the life of Danish writer Karen Blixen, better known as Isak Dinesen, who travels to Kenya to be with her husband, Bror Blixen but falls for an English white hunter, Denys Finch Hatton.
The Flame Trees Of Thika (1982) Starring Hayley Mills and David Robb. Based on the memoir by Elspeth Huxley, 'The Flame Trees of Thika' brings to life the colour and adventure of turn-of-the-century Kenya. In 1913, Robin and Tilly Grant arrive in Kenya with the dream of transforming a barren plot of land into a thriving coffee plantation. But torrential rains, relentless insects and murderous animals, as well as relations with natives and other settlers, challenge their ambitions.
The Gods Must Be Crazy (1980) Starring N!xau and Marius Weyers. A comedy about a primitive Bushman finding a coke bottle, which he sets out to return to the gods and encounters the insanity of "civilization" for the first time. The Gods Must Be Crazy II
Shaka Zulu (1986) TV mini-series 10 disc set. Starring Edward Fox and Robert Powell. An epic historical saga that traces the turbulent life of Shaka, the 19th-century Zulu tribal leader who united his people into one great nation that reached across Southern Africa until his downfall and murder.
Breaker Morant (1980) Starring Edward Woodward, Jack Thompson and Bryan Brown. Based on a true story, about the controversial folk hero Lt. Harry "Breaker" Morant. As South Africa's Boer War draws to a close, Morant and two fellow Australian soldiers are court-martialed for murder. Their only hope lies in a small-town lawyer who fights passionately for their lives.
The 1990s saw a large number of good quality movies released such as 'Cry the Beloved Country' and 'The Power of One' set in South Africa. 'White hunter, Black Heart' with Clint Eastwood was an interesting story based on the life of Hollywood director, John Houston, particularly on the time when he came to Africa to direct 'The African Queen'. He became obsessed with the idea of shooting an elephant more than making the film. They needed a trained elephant bull and Abu, Randall Moore's elephant was perfect and got the part. He could act in a full charge and stop on a sixpence just in front of the camera. Abu also needed to toss and kill a tracker in his role. This was technically perfected with the actor being levered up by Abu and flipping himself off his tusks but Abu had trouble acting 'very fierce' in his eyes and face.
Sarafina! (1992) Starring Whoopi Goldberg. In a world where truth is forbidden in 1970s South Africa, an inspiring teacher dares to instill in her students lessons not found in schoolbooks. In doing so, she challenges their freedom and hers.
Cry The Beloved Country (1995) Starring Richard Harris and James Earl Jones. This is an adaptation of Alan Paton's celebrated novel of the same name. Two fathers, one a man of peace, the other a man of power and privilege, whose lives seem destined for a violent collision. But instead, in the wake of a tragic killing, these extraordinary men form an unlikely union and together find the kind of understanding that could heal a nation.
White Hunter, Black Heart (1990) Starring (and directed by) Clint Eastwood. A brilliant, driven film-maker (loosely based on John Houston), is determined to turn his new project in Africa into a grand personal adventure hunting an elephant.
Congo (1995) Starring Dylan Walsh and Laura Linney. They've eluded heat-seeking missiles, gone eyeball-to-eyeball with enraged 5,000-pound hippos, hacked through a jungle curtain. Still, the expedition continues. Amy, a gorilla who was part of a university learning experiment, is at last returning home.
The Ghost And The Darkness (1996) Starring Michael Douglas and Val Kilmer. A tense, and true adventure set in 1896 East Africa, based on 'The Man-Eaters of Tsavo' by J H Patterson. Two lions on man-eating rampage have shut down the construction of a railway. The beasts hunt together, showing no fear of man or fire. What's more, they're killing for sport rather than for food and they have an almost supernatural knack for knowing what traps await them. A big-game hunter and construction engineer Lt Col John Patterson set out to stop these monsters.
Mountains Of The Moon (1990) Starring Patrick Bergin and Iain Glen. The hero is one of the greatest British explorers of the 19th century, Sir Richard Burton, a fascinating figure and a man out of his time. 'Mountains of the Moon' is primarily concerned with Burton's trek into East Africa to discover the source of the Nile, accompanied by fellow adventurer John Hanning Speke.
Forbidden Territory: Stanley's Search for Livingstone (1997) Starring Dylan Baker and Edward Fox. One man's quest for a missing missionary in the dark of the African jungle becomes his own journey of self-discovery.
The Power Of One (1992) Starring Morgan Freeman, Stephen Dorff and Sir John Gielgud. The 'Power of One' is an intriguing story, set in South Africa and based on the Bryce Courtenay novel, of a young English boy named PK and his passion for changing the world.
Blind Justice (1990) Starring Christopher Cazenove and Edita Brychta. Centres on the struggles a small African nation faces in the days following its declaration of independence and the former colonial commissioner who must fight to maintain order in a time political upheaval.
To Walk With Lions (1999) Starring Richard Harris and John Michie. After 'Born Free' 30 years earlier, 'To Walk With Lions' continues George Adamson's fight to save Kenya's wildlife. Together with his young assistant, Adamson battles to keep the animals on his game reserve at Kora, safe from poachers and "shifta" bandits.
The new millenium brought some excellent though harrowing films about the Rwandan genocide like 'Hotel Rwanda' and 'Sometimes In April'. The movies in the 2000s often show Africa's past and continuing turbulence, from Idi Amin's days in 'Last King Of Scotland', Patrice Lumumba's life and the still ongoing strife in Sudan in 'Attack On Dafur'. Nearly forgot, the light relief of the fourth version of King Solomon's Mines came out in 2003 with Patrick Swayze.
Hotel Rwanda (2005) Starring Don Cheadle and Xolani Mali. The true story of one man's brave stance against savagery during the 1994 Rwandan conflict.
Blood Diamond (2006) Starring Leonardo Dicaprio and Jennifer Connelly. A story following a man tortured by his roots. With a strong survival instinct, he has made himself a key player in the business of conflict diamonds in Sierra Leone.
The Last King Of Scotland (2006) Starring Forest Whitaker and James McAvoy. Set in Uganda in the 1970's, 'The Last King of Scotland' is a compelling mix of fact and fiction that depicts Idi Amin as one of the most powerful dictators of our time. Amin's savagery is illustrated in part through a naive Scottish doctor who finds himself entangled with Amin in a desperate fight for survival.
Sometimes In April (2005) Starring Idris Elba and Oris Ehuero. In April 1994, one of the most heinous genocides in world history began in the African nation of Rwanda. Over the course of 100 days, an estimated 800,000 people were killed in a terrifying purge by Hutu nationalists against their Tutsi countrymen. This drama focuses on the atrocities that took place through the story of two Hutu brothers, one in the military, one a radio personality, whose relationship and private lives were forever changed in the midst of the genocide.
Yesterday (2006) Starring Leleti Khumalo. This Oscar-nominated drama brings an intimate human perspective to the AIDS crisis in Africa. Director of 'Cry The Beloved Country', Darrell James Roodt returns to his native South Africa for this portrait of a young, devoted mother named Yesterday who learns that she is HIV positive, and remains determined to stay alive until her young daughter is old enough to go off to school.
Invictus (2009) Starring Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon. Nelson Mandela rejects revenge, forgives oppressors who jailed him 27 years for his fight against apartheid and finds hope of national unity in an unlikely place - the rugby field. Clint Eastwood directed this film about Mandela, who asks the national rugby team captain and his squad to do the impossible and win the World Cup.
King Solomon's Mines (2003) Starring Patrick Swayze and Alison Doody. Another adaptation of this classic story from Rider Haggard made for TV with Swayze starring as the White Hunter.
Sahara (2005) Starring Matthew McConaughey and Penelope Cruz. Based on a Clive Cussler novel. The hero is in Africa looking for a Confederate ironclad ship that impossibly might have ended up there. Soon he and his faithful sidekick are lost in another adventure, discovering a deadly contaminate being tracked by a beautiful doctor.
Nowhere In Africa (2002) A Jewish woman flees Nazi Germany with her daughter, to join her husband on a farm in Kenya. At first, she refuses to adjust to her new circumstances while her daughter adapts readily to this new world. The movie is in German with English subtitles.
I Dreamed Of Africa (2000) Starring Kim Basinger and Vincent Perez. A true story based on the memoirs of Kuki Gallman, a woman leaves her comfortable surroundings in Italy to live on a farm in Africa with her family, unaware that tragedy lies just ahead.
Tsotsi (2005) Starring Presley Chweneyagae and Mothusi Magano. On the edges of Johannesburg, Tsotsi's life has no meaning beyond survival until one night, he steals a woman's car. As he is driving off, he makes a shocking discovery in the backseat. This award-winning film is a portrait of the choices that are made in life and how compassion can endure.
Shooting Dogs (2005) Starring John Hurt and Hugh Dancy. In April 1994, after the airplane of the Hutu President of Rwanda is shot down, the Hutu militias slaughter the Tutsi population. In the Ecole Technique Officielle, a Catholic priest and an idealistic English teacher lodge two thousand and five hundred Rwandans refugees, under the protection of the Belgian UN force and under siege by Hutu militia. When the Tutsi refugees are abandoned by the UN, they are murdered by the extremist militia.
Lumumba (2001) Starring Eriq Ebouaney and Alex Descas. An epic that dramatises the rise and fall of the African leader Patrice Lumumba. When the Congo declared its independence from Belgium in 1960, the 36-year-old, self-educated Lumumba became the first Prime Minister of the newly independent state. He became a focus in Cold War politics as his vision of a united Africa gained him powerful enemies in Belgium and the US. Lumumba would last just months in office before being assassinated.
Safe House (2012) Starring Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds. A high tension, action-packed thriller as a lethal prisoner who is escorted from a compromised safe house by a CIA Agent. They must make their way to another safe house in South Africa without being taken out by violent forces that want them both dead.
The Bang Bang Club (2010) Starring Ryan Phillipe and Malin Akerman. Based on the memoir by Greg Marinovich and Joao Silva. As apartheid comes to a violent end, four photographers, bonded by their friendship and a sense of purpose, risk their lives to capture the bloody struggle and expose the truth.
Faith Like Potatoes (2006) Starring Frank Rautenbach and Jeanne Wilhelm. A farmer moves his family to South Africa and suffers a series of seemingly insurmountable losses. Through unlikely friendships and much needed divine intervention, he discovers his life's true purpose and it sustains his unwavering belief in the power of faith. A life journey of a man who, like his potatoes, grows his faith, unseen until the harvest.
Attack On Darfur (2009) Starring Billy Zane, Edward Furlong and Kristanna Loken. Is the story of a group of Western journalists in Sudan who visit a small village to gather footage and interviews in hopes of reporting on the atrocities they have seen. When they hear that the Janjaweed are heading towards the village, they are confronted with the dilemma of whether to run for safety or to stay behind and attempt to avert the villages slaughter.
Stander (2004) Starring Thomas Jane and Dexter Fletcher. A white police officer, Stander, suffers a crisis of conscience after his involvement in a riot in Johannesburg, he goes from law enforcer to law breaker, becoming one South Africa's most notorious bank robbers.
Mau-Mau (1953) Narrated by Chet Huntley. This detailed documentary about the war between subjugated tribesmen and militant colonists was narrated by NBC newsman, Chet Huntley. It so shocked potential audiences that director Elwood Price was unable to get any main stream interest in marketing it, so the film was eventually pitched by another film 'mogul' as tawdry expose of jungle sex cults, hence the lurid cover design. Filmed in colour in Kenya, 'Mau-Mau' still shocks with its graphic depiction of violence and death which raged from 1952 to 1960.
The History Of Warfare: Zulu Wars 1879 (2007) Imperial Great Britain began its military campaign in Zululand in 1879 as a way of consolidating its control over southern Africa. This intensely filmed chapter from the History of Warfare series pulls the cover off two of the conflict's most fascinating battles: the catastrophic slaughter at Isandlwana and the confrontation at Rorke's Drift with actual footage and expert reconstructions.
Elsa's Legacy: The Born Free Story (2011) 2010 marked the 50th anniversary of the publication of the book 'Born Free'. This documentary looks at what has happened to lions since this story and what has happened to the people featured in the film.
Ghosts Of Rwanda (2005) This documentary marked the 10th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide. In addition to interviews with key government officials and diplomats, the film offers eyewitness accounts of the genocide from those who experienced it firsthand.
Tsavo Lions: The Legendary Man-eaters (2009) In the largest of Kenya's national parks lives one of the enigmas of nature, the maneless lion of Tsavo. Follow Dr Bruce Patterson of Chicago's Field Museum of National History as he tries to capture this legendary man-eater to fit it with a GPS collar, the only way he will be able to study it.
Expedition: Africa (2009) 3 disc set. 'Expedition Africa' takes viewers on an adventure of epic proportions as four modern-day explorers attempt to follow the historic journey of Henry Morton Stanley and his search for the lost David Livingstone in the heart of Africa.
Africa: The Serengeti (1994) Narrated by James Earl Jones. Is an extraordinary film viewing the spectacle of the Great Migration. Journey with more than two million wildebeest, zebras and antelopes in their annual 500-mile trek across the Serengeti Plains. It features Africa's greatest predators in pursuit of their migrating prey, spectacular vistas and dynamic aerial shots.
Mugabe And The White African (2009) This award-winning documentary is the story of one family's astonishing bravery as they fight to protect their property, their livelihood and their country. Mike Campbell is one of the few white farmers left in Zimbabwe since Mugabe enacted his land redistribution program. Previously the breadbasket of Africa, Zimbabwe has since spiraled into chaos, the economy decimated as farms given to Mugabe cronies are run into ruin. After enduring years of intimidation, threats and, finally, physical violence, Campbell decides to take action. Unable to call upon help from his country's authorities, he challenges Mugabe before an international court.
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