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6 MOVIES EVERY AFRICAN MUST SEE

Africa has rich history and some of the most inspiring movies from Africa are historical movies which give you a rich insight of events from the past. These movies show us that culture, heroism, love, care, gratitude and the spirit of Ubuntu exist on the continent. As an African, you cannot miss out on these great award-winning movies that tell stories of Africa.

#1 BEYOND THE GATES

In this movie, the Hutu militias slaughter the Tutsi population after the airplane of the Hutu President of Rwanda is shot down. A Catholic Priest and an English teacher get stranded in a school in Kigali during the 1994 Rwandan genocide. They must now choose whether to stay with the thousands of Tutsis about to be massacred or to flee for safety. The story is one of the many, drawn from events that took place during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. Many movies including “Hotel Rwanda” and the current Netflix original movie “Black Earth Rising” also recounts these events. However, “Beyond the Gates”, which is among the less popular ones, features survivors of the event. It further questions the effort of the West at the time to bring the disaster to an end. There are, however, disputes amongst those who have watched this movie as to whether Hotel Rwanda is better than this movie. These debates fall back on generational differences. Those in 40s plus years claim that Hotel Rwanda is better and those in 20s and below claim Beyond the Gates is better. We have however found that the bottom line is the focus of the two movies. This movie appeals to us more than “Hotel Rwanda” did. This is largely because it focuses on the “save the world” mentality of youth, when things are not really that easy to explain or resolve. It also offers some light moments and comic relief that ease the burden of such an unpleasant true story

#2 THE BOY WHO HARNESSED THE WIND

This epic story is based on the book of the same by William Kamkwamba, who is also the main subject of the film. When he was fourteen years old, a terrible drought hit the village where he lived. People had nothing to eat and drink. Being an excellent student and very fond of physics, the guy decides to save his native village from starvation. In the library he finds scientific books on physics. Unfortunately, they were all exclusively in English. But the hero did not give up. For a long time studying pictures and different symbols in Latin, the guy got an idea to build a wind generator.

#3

This film makes it clear that reality will always transcend fiction. The exceptional love tale of the African Prince Seretse Khama and his English wife Ruth Williams – which was a subject to racial discrimination – is the stance of the movie. In the late 1940s, Prince Seretse Khama of Bechuanaland is studying law in Britain in preparation for his eventual ascension to the throne. There, the dashing prince falls in love with a white British clerk, Ruth Williams, and they plan to marry. While they suspect that his uncle, the Regent, would disapprove, nothing prepares them for the diplomatic firestorm and domestic political tumult their defiant love would spark. Against all odds, King Khama and Ruth must struggle to maintain their love and help their people in a land that would become the Republic of Botswana. The couple triumphed amidst prejudice and injustice to have an influence on the status of politics in Botswana today.

The events portrayed in the film actually took place but until now haven’t been much discussed. Even today inter-racial love stories can be unpopular and sadly racism remains a major issue that has yet to be eradicated. Be that as it may, what we can not take away from both Seretse and Ruth is that their actions were finally instrumental in bringing democracy to Botswana with Seretse renouncing his kingship and becoming the first democratically elected president of his country.Speaking of Cast, David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike are superb and there is sterling work from an outstanding supporting cast. We can’t also forget to recognise the amazing work of Guy Hibbert for the screenplay and Amma Asante for directing. Imagine putting together a movie about love, race and politics? Credit is given to all involved.

#4 QUEEN OF KATWE

This movie is based on true events in Africa. A Ugandan girl sees her world rapidly change after being introduced to the game of chess. Living in Katwe, a slum in Kampala, Uganda, is a constant struggle for 10-year-old Phiona, her mother Nakku Harriet and younger members of her family. She and her younger brother help their mother sell maize in the market. She also helps care for her baby brother. Her world changes one day when she meets Robert Katende at a missionary program. Katende coaches soccer and teaches children to play chess at a local center. Curious, Phiona approaches and learns the game. She becomes fascinated with it and soon becomes a top player in the group under Katende’s guidance.

#5

This story is a film of adventures, tension and dangers to overcome, as much about survival as it is discovery. A naive Madrid lawyer travels to Africa to search for her younger sister, who has gone missing in a part of Congo plagued by violence and strife.

Laura Alonso is a Spanish lawyer from Madrid who sets off to Democratic Republic of Congo (center of Africa) after having seen a photo where Sara, her younger sister, appears alive after two years without clues about her location. While looking for contacts, Laura realizes that Sara was photographed in the region of Goma, one of the most troubled zones of the country due to the warlords and their civil war over coltan, a much appreciated and expensive mineral.

Determined to go until the end despite not knowing the country nor the language, Laura contacts Sergio Rojas, a Latin businessman, to get the way to travel Goma. But after discovering the real interests of Sergio, Laura asks help Sven, a former part-time Sara’s lover, to go Goma. Sven finds Jamir, a young former war-child who reluctant accept Laura’s offer to help her. Together they both start a journey from Kinsasa (DR of Congo’s capital) to Goma.

Along the travel, Laura’s life not only will be in danger several times, but her own mind and spirit will face to a cruel reality where life don’t have a value and death appears in every corner of the way, breaking inside her. A situation that gets even worse when Laura learns Jamir’s hidden past, and specially when Laura finally finds Sara, after she discovers that Sara’s special circumstances will complicate any attempt to rescue her.

#6 MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM

The title says it all. This film is a chronicle of Nelson Mandela’s life journey from his childhood in a rural village through to his inauguration as the first democratically elected president of South Africa and is an adaption of his 1995 autobiography. Nelson Mandela stood against the apartheid system and brutal tyranny when he joined a resistant army. He was apprehended along with his comrades and sentenced to a lifetime in prison. Mandela’s wife Winnie transforms into a ruthless adversary, and Mandela will not waiver during his 27 years of imprisonment.

As you watch, be mindful that the film has some strong moments as police cruelty on civilians as well security officers’ brutality against people, including women, and infants. There’s enough background information to give the spectator a taste of what South African life was like under apartheid, detailing hard confrontations, violent environment, fear and tension. The flick describes perfectly a great man who could have lived in bitterness and anger all his existence, seeking vengeance when he ultimately achieved power, but who instead chose to devote himself to democracy and peaceful reconciliation between blacks and whites in South Africa. The main actors, Idris Elba and Naomi Harris give awesome interpretation and the story was professionally directed by Justin Chadwick. Any film that concerns Nelson Mandela is a picture worth watching in my opinion and this one results to be one of the best. 

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