Africa Addio (Farewell Africa)

Africa Addio (Farewell Africa)
Directed by Gualtiero Jacopetti & Franco Prosperi

“The global economy has created immense wealth in the West, but it has also spawned a sinister new market in slaves – in Africa, Asia and South America, and on our own doorsteps in the capitals of Britain and the U.S.”

Africa Addio is an Italian documentary film made in 1966 about the end of the colonial era in Africa. The film was released under the names “Africa Blood and Guts” in the USA (which was only half of the entire film) and “Farewell Africa” in the UK. The movie documents some of the disruptions caused by decolonization, such as poaching in former animal preserves and bloody revolutions, including the Zanzibar revolution which resulted in the massacre of approximately 5000 Arabs in 1964. In most of its edited incarnations, the movie leaves out mention of similar atrocities that were committed under colonial powers. While the film claims to dispassionately show reality, it has been criticized as biased by many viewers over the years (perhaps most notably Roger Ebert).

The film was shot over a period of three years, by Gualtiero Jacopetti and Franco Prosperi, two Italian filmmakers who had gained fame a few years earlier (with co-director Paolo Cavara) as the directors of Mondo Cane in 1962. This film launched the so-called Mondo film genre, a cycle of documentaries or “shockumentaries” which often featured sensational topcis, of which “Africa Addio” is arguably a part (it is included in the “Mondo Cane Collection” currently being distributed by Blue Underground).

‘Africa Addio’ / ‘Farewell Africa’ (shot in 1964; released in 1966) is a documentary film about the decolonization of Africa, made by the Italian film directors Gualtiero Jacopetti and Franco E. Prosperi. It shows like no other documentary what blacks are capable of if they get the chance. It is a masterpiece with beautiful music, composed by the Italian composer Riz Ortolani. Probably ‘Africa Addio’ is the best and most exposing documentary ever made about what happened in several African countries directly after decolonization, but because of political correctness the masses never heard of it. In the USA a censored version called ‘Africa Blood and Guts’ was released, which was deliberately stripped from the original music and the powerful message of ‘Africa Addio’ – so the sensors were able to portray the destruction, cruelty, savagery and genocide performed by the Africans as a ‘struggle for indepence’. The directors Gualtiero Jacopetti and Franco E. Prosperi dissociated themselves from this Hollywood (per)version of their film.