The greatest Mondo film of all time, released in 1966 is the Gualtiero Jacopetti and Franco Prosperi masterpiece, Africa Addio. The film is much better than their earlier work Mondo Cane, which doesn't live up to the hype like Africa Addio does. I recently had the pleasure of viewing the original directors cut in Italian with English subtitles by Blue Underground. This version of the movie is the longest and complete cut of the film at 140 mins. I am glad I saw the complete version of the film vs. the various other cuts of the movie. The film is best when preserved in its entirety rather than being chopped up to exclusively show its most graphic scenes, as in the Africa Blood and Guts version.
If I was a school teacher I would show Africa Addio to my class, it is a true piece of artwork and history that shouldn't be forgotten. The film itself is about the end of colonialism in Africa and the changing culture that was happening in the 1960s. Several different parts of Africa were explored from the urban dwellings of South Africa to the jungles of Kenya to the island of Zanzibar. Many people will find the film offensive and disturbing, and while it is...it deserves to be so. This is real life- Africa at its most changing time. The change from primitive life to urban class is shown in detail. The struggles between whites and blacks, Christians and Muslims, and life and death are all present.
The footage that the director's shot was incredible. Really gritty footage, possibly some of the best "real" war footage ever shot on camera. The violence of the Simba, a group of African rebels who raped and pillaged towns, stole money and goods, and ate the livers of everyone who crossed their paths, is explored. These Simba believed they would gain power by eating the liver's of their enemies, so they marched through Africa destroying everything in their path. The most disturbing part of the movie is the aerial footage of the Zanzibar massacre. The footage is the only footage in existence of one of the largest mass genocides in Africa. The murdering of hundreds of Muslims, who were a minority class on the island of Zanzibar. It was a political war that cost the lives of entire families, it didn't prove anything for in the months that came afterward the country became part of the new Tanzania and would continue enduring its Muslim rule.
The film is a very political film, the directors obviously have an agenda they are trying to get across. Regardless of their personal views what they endured through the filming was drastic, for they almost ended their own lives several times while filming. Many animals are killed...then most likely eaten. Poaching is a rather popular aspect of the movie for the directors spend an hour plus just on the lives of the African hunters. I don't want to spoil the movie for people who haven't had a chance to watch it yet, but I highly urge fans of exploitation and mondo films to see Africa Addio right away.
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