Underground Films: Come Back, Africa (1959) 16mm/Sound | Berkeley
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The Tannery | 708 Gilman St. Berkeley, CA 94710
Sunday, February 10, 2013
Come Back, Africa (1959) 16mm Sound | Berkeley Underground Films at the Tannery
Come Back, Africa chronicles the life of Zachariah, a black South African living under the rule of the harsh apartheid government in 1959.
The film had a profound effect on African Cinema, and remains of great historical and cultural importance as a document preserving the unique heritage of the townships in South Africa in the 1950′s. It may be classified as reportage, documentary, historical movie or political cinema, since it portrays real events and people. On the other hand, it reveals an interpretation of meaningful social facts and a strong ethical assumption towards human behaviors like racism.
Nevertheless, it is a scripted film (like On the Bowery), based on fictional narrative, in which actors play invented roles. But, unlike mainstream films and against Hollywood traditions, its actors are street people, improvising lived experiences: they play their own lives or those of people like them. That is why Come Back, Africa is a fiction / non-fiction, a hybrid of fictional film and documentary: a docu-fiction. Besides, it is a rare specimens in film history of docu-fiction and political film in one.
Director: Lionel Rogosin
Writers: Bloke Modisane, Lewis Nkosi
Stars: Zacharia Mgabi, Vinah Makeba and Miriam Makeba