27th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival
Come Back, Africa
director: Lionel Rogosin
original title: Come Back, Africa
running time: 95 min.
synopsisThe film, which blurs the lines between fiction and documentary, tells the story of a young Zulu black man by the name of Zachariah who journeys to Johannesburg to find work. In the late 1950s during South Africa's unforgiving apartheid era, this meant not only exposing himself to the prevailing racism of the time but also him having to overcome the complicated bureaucracy that reduced his life to that of a serf. Although the film is based on a fictional narrative and considered a work of docufiction, there are non-actors featured in typecast roles, and the creators mainly aimed to incorporate into the film the most pressing problems of a racially segregated society: narrowminded perspectives and narrowminded thinking.
“The film’s exploration of social and economic injustice experienced by Africans under apartheid, and the recurring juxtaposition of white South Africa with the vibrant township life in South Africa in the 1950s, makes Come Back, Africa a groundbreaking film in regards to the representation of Africans on film and the use of cinema as a tool for political discourse on the continent.”
biographyLionel Rogosin (1924–2000) was an American independent documentary filmmaker for whom filmmaking became part of a broader concept of political activism. In New York, he ran the Bleecker Street Cinema and was a founding and active member of the New American Cinema movement alongside the likes of Jonas Mekas.
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