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Black and Banned

Come Back, Africa

This poignant and lyrical drama-doc stars ‘Mama Africa’ (Miriam Makeba).

Image from Come Back, Africa

USA 1959
Dir Lionel Rogosin
With Zacharia Mgabi, Vinah Bendile, Miriam Makeba
35mm. Print courtesy of Fondazione Cineteca di Bologna
English subtitles
Certificate 12A

‘Mama Africa’ (Miriam Makeba) shines in this gloriously restored, poignant and lyrical drama-doc about life in 1959 Johannesburg. Described by Martin Scorsese as ‘a heroic film,’ it was viewed as anti-apartheid propaganda, and considered so dangerous that Makeba was exiled. Much of the movie was shot in Sophiatown, a haven for intellectuals, artists and musicians that was promptly demolished and turned into a whites-only suburb.


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