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Old December 24th, 2013, 06:06 PM   #1

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If African history is be exploited, why not exploit it for profit?


The title sounds a little distasteful but hear me out!

Wherever you see movies/tv shows about Africa, they all relate to horrible post-colonial famines, genocides, wars and documentaries. These movies are generally pretty bloody and depressing. Slavery is a common exception(Amistad, roots,etc), but that's not all African history has to offer. Why not show them the other side of African history? Great kingdoms and empires, lost cities and forgotten wars, African religions and interpretation of Christianity and Islam,etc. I want people to know that Africa is not just a continent of savagery, poverty and depravity but one of rich states and empires of sophistication equal to anywhere else in the world!

The zulu have gotten some exposure in this regard which is good, but at the same time I feel that this traps viewers into thinking that this is all Africa has to offer. No disrespect to the zulus, who were depicted as half naked savages who had very little regard for the life of non-zulu peoples, who lived in small villages with their kraals( in itself an accurate description of zulu civilization, but not african civilizations as a whole) The zulu empire was in fact a powerful centralized state that expanded to dominate much of south Africa, but that's beside the point.

I'm currently watching the tv series vikings and I am just hooked on it, but why haven't there been any tv series or movies based on well-documented states and empires like mali, Abyssinia, the various nubian kingdoms or kongo? These are just cash cows waiting to be exploited, and honestly, with hollywood and cinema declining and becoming more and more repetitive, there really isn't a better time to showcase some of this stuff.

I've heard Will Smith is interested in making a movie about the emperor taharqa, but is there anything else on the horizon for Africa?

Just this year we've had, say 2-3 movies based on slavery and civil rights? As well as previous ones(the help, django), why not mix it up a bit? As depressing and as cruel slavery and the civil rights era was, I'm kinda getting tired of hearing about it all the time, sorry to sound so insensitive but it's true. These also aren't necessarily movies that would just purely be focused on Africa, it would include the continents interactions with many different peoples(India, portugal, Arabia,etc).
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Old December 25th, 2013, 10:00 AM   #2

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Maybe they haven't done it because many African civil wars are still ongoing? What with the scourge of conflict diamonds and other conflict resources, the film "Blood Diamond," etc. maybe they consider it too sensitive a subject, like the proverbial "too soon"...just my three cents!
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Old December 25th, 2013, 10:08 AM   #3
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Because poverty, disease, famine, and war in modern Africa is very embedded into pop culture and the minds of non-Africans. Cliches and stereotypes tend to persist for a long time you know.
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Old December 27th, 2013, 10:35 PM   #4

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Here's a kid fantasy epic that is striving to be the African version of Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings:

Children of Saba & The Epic of Aphrike series | Afrikkana

Last edited by mansamusa; December 27th, 2013 at 10:56 PM.
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Old December 27th, 2013, 11:09 PM   #5

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Well there's the film Zulu.

Possible topics include:
Mansa Musa's travels
Yasuke in Japan
Ashanti wars against Britain
Kongo fighting Portugal
Leopold's Horrors
First Italo-Abyssinian War
A story of Freedmen settling Liberia
The Franco-Ouaddai War
Fulani Jihad
The Great Trek
The Great War in Africa (particularly the East African Campaign)
The Congo Arab War (because what is more interesting than a struggle between two villainous forces?)
Ibn Battuta's travels in West and East Africa
Travels of the Jews who would eventually become the Lemba (if anything is actually known about them)
A story of Swahili Traders
David Livingstone
Something involving Mali or the Songhai

I wouldn't mind the Ear, the Eye, and the Arm being converted into a film though I'm not sure that foots the bill of what you're looking for.

Last edited by WeisSaul; December 27th, 2013 at 11:12 PM.
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Old December 28th, 2013, 03:11 AM   #6

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Quote:
Originally Posted by PreColonialAfricaFTW View Post
The title sounds a little distasteful but hear me out!

Wherever you see movies/tv shows about Africa, they all relate to horrible post-colonial famines, genocides, wars and documentaries. These movies are generally pretty bloody and depressing. Slavery is a common exception(Amistad, roots,etc), but that's not all African history has to offer. Why not show them the other side of African history? Great kingdoms and empires, lost cities and forgotten wars, African religions and interpretation of Christianity and Islam,etc. I want people to know that Africa is not just a continent of savagery, poverty and depravity but one of rich states and empires of sophistication equal to anywhere else in the world!

The zulu have gotten some exposure in this regard which is good, but at the same time I feel that this traps viewers into thinking that this is all Africa has to offer. No disrespect to the zulus, who were depicted as half naked savages who had very little regard for the life of non-zulu peoples, who lived in small villages with their kraals( in itself an accurate description of zulu civilization, but not african civilizations as a whole) The zulu empire was in fact a powerful centralized state that expanded to dominate much of south Africa, but that's beside the point.

I'm currently watching the tv series vikings and I am just hooked on it, but why haven't there been any tv series or movies based on well-documented states and empires like mali, Abyssinia, the various nubian kingdoms or kongo? These are just cash cows waiting to be exploited, and honestly, with hollywood and cinema declining and becoming more and more repetitive, there really isn't a better time to showcase some of this stuff.

I've heard Will Smith is interested in making a movie about the emperor taharqa, but is there anything else on the horizon for Africa?

Just this year we've had, say 2-3 movies based on slavery and civil rights? As well as previous ones(the help, django), why not mix it up a bit? As depressing and as cruel slavery and the civil rights era was, I'm kinda getting tired of hearing about it all the time, sorry to sound so insensitive but it's true. These also aren't necessarily movies that would just purely be focused on Africa, it would include the continents interactions with many different peoples(India, portugal, Arabia,etc).
Maybe you've just been looking in the wrong place. There are a lots of movies produced, every year. Nollywood?, the film industry in Nigeria is having a boom if I can point you in one direction.

Nollywood.com - African & Nollywood Movie Trailers
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