Africa Addio  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Africa Addio is a 1966 Italian documentary film 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 topics, of which "Africa Addio" is arguably a part (it is included in the "Mondo Cane Collection" currently being distributed by Blue Underground).

The film has been hailed as a masterpiece (for instance, by Conrad H. Roth) but has also been consistently criticized as being racist, misleading, exploitive, or staged. Criticism has led to the creation of many cuts of the film, as well as its outright ban in some markets.


A soundtrack of the music used in the film was later released. The composer was Riz Ortolani who had scored Mondo Cane that featured the hit single More. Lyrics were added to the title song called "Who Can Say?" that was sung by Jimmy Roselli on the United Artists Records soundtrack album.

Track listing

  1. Africa addio (03:24)
  2. I mercenari (02:17)
  3. Il massacro di Maidopei (04:22)
  4. Cape Town (02:02)
  5. Prima del diluvio (03:18)
  6. Le ragazze dell'oceano (03:55)
  7. Verso la libertà (02:40)
  8. Paradiso degli animali (01:58)
  9. Il nono giorno (04:38)
  10. Goodbye Mister Turnball (02:07)
  11. Lo zebrino volante (02:05)
  12. La decimazione (05:26)
  13. Finale Africa addio (02:15)

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Africa Addio" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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