Sunday, 9 October 2011

Africa Addio (Film Review)



"The Africa of the great explorers, the huge land of hunting and adventure adored by entire generations of children, has disappeared forever. To that age-old Africa, swept away and destroyed by the tremendous speed of progress, we have said farewell. The devastation, the slaughter, the massacres which we assisted belong to a new Africa– one which if it emerges from its ruins to be more modern, more rational, more functional, more conscious- will be unrecognizable.

"On the other hand, the world is racing toward better times. The new America rose from the ashes of a few white man, all the redskins, and the bones of millions of buffalo. The new, carved up Africa will rise again upon the tombs of a few white men, millions of black men, and upon the immense graveyards that were once its game reserves. The endeavor is so modern and recent that there is no room to discuss it at the moral level. The purpose of this film is only to bid farewell to the old Africa that is dying and entrust to history the documentation of its agony"


Gualtiero Jacopetti and Franco Prosperi are the Godfathers and for-runners in Mondo Cinema and are best known for Mondo Cane and there Intriguing yet extremely racist documentary Goodbye Uncle Tom.
But are there Documentary’s as educational as Jacopetti would put it?! Or just plain disgusting as Roger Ebert would put it? Mondo Cane “no” – Goodbye Uncle Tom “Maybe” – Africa Blood and Guts? We’ll all films can serve a point now can’t they?                                                                                                                             

Africa Blood and Guts ( Or Africa Addio) is the veritable anti-documentary, as its makers themselves have described it – see herds of elephants peacefully grazing in a field one minute, witness them butchered brutally the next. Observe the refined culture of an African tribe before watching the aftermath of their full-scale genocide. Get to know two ethnic groups before viewing them kill each other to gain territorial domination.

Considering the film is half about Politics and the despair and fell of this Continent in these dark times I found the term “Shockumentry” happening pretty little in this. Maybe I can agree with Ebert when he says  it just “slanders a continent”…
To me even if this all was real I believe they stuck it all together out of Random (even though it isn’t) but it just feels like that. That's kind of another reason why i agree with Eberts Comment that and they go for too long even to exsplain the simplist of things.

Normally for any Mondo Picture all this stuff is staged but the two Directing team claim That nothing was staged this was the experience they had while filming this documentary on the Dark Continent. This is guerrilla filmmaking and an assault on the senses on par with a sledgehammer to the face, But Hang on? That would make this a Snuff film right? Or maybe there lying and there Cinematography is the greatest in all of Cinema and after Take after Take after Take is the reason why they were in Africa so LOOOOOONNNNNGGGGG.
Indeed I do stick up for both of the Directors when I saw “Nothing was Staged”  but that would make this some type of Snuff flick we see a massive raid with troops trying to pull Gualtiero Jacopetti and Franco Prosperi out of their Car Along with their Crew and people get shot in the background… Either that was an accidental scene that both Men left in the film to show the horrors of Africa or that was one impressive staged scene I can fucking tell you that.

The Horror of this thing is present by another Stella Score by Riz Ortolani that reaches even down to the lowest parts of your soul, He created based on tradition so we can hear the Beautiful and Stunning music of Africa.
Of course the Film had huge success not just with Critics or Film goers (Minus Ebert) but it’s aftermath after being Banned in Italy I couldn’t even start to tell you how many people were pissed off with this. It only makes a man Curtis to hunt down and watch it to see the excellent Direction and the alleged “No stagging in this film”. Though it seems Both Directors didn’t have a wake up call with this – After the filming they began work on Goodbye Uncle Tom an even more racist to blacks documentary about Slavery (Even though their reputations had just about been destroyed by both films).

Maybe by the end I need to see it again but this time the English version, Gualtiero Jacopetti and Franco Prosperi were still some of the most influential Mondo and Film makers out there. If you have to see this try Mondo Cane first and if you hate that don’t bother with this.

Jesse’s Africa Blood and Guts score 65-100%

4 comments:

  1. Great review, doesn't really sound like my thing to be honest

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  2. I'll be honest, it doesn't sound too appealing to me, but great review

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  3. I can't wait till the day I get to see a bunch of hippos spear the shit out of half naked Africans!

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  4. I can't wait till the day I get to see a bunch of hippos spear the shit out of half naked Africans!

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