Come Back, Africa
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American documentary producer/director Lionel Rogosin followed up his Oscar-nominated film On the Bowery (1956) with another docudrama about the disenfranchised, Come Back Africa. Lensed for the most part in Johannesburg, the film follows a Zulu family that has been uprooted from its native environs and plunked down in the middle of a strange urban "jungle". Due to the repressiveness of the South African powers-that-were, Rogosin was forced to shoot his film with hidden cameras, then obliged to smuggle the footage out of the continent. The finished film, which depicts its… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

""Come Back, Africa" is most effective as an ethnographic documentary, with cinema verite images of white privilege and black poverty."
‑ Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"Rogosin was showing a vital culture on the brink, at the moment when it was calcifying into the form it would hold for more than three decades to come."
‑ Nick Pinkerton, Village Voice
"(The film)succeeds simultaneously as activism, as drama, and as a time capsule. It feels like the delicate spell would be broken if a single variable was altered."
‑ Christopher Long, Movie Metropolis
"A solid, affecting artifact of the cruelty of late 1950s South Africa, in which music often makes despair and long-suppressed anger bearable."
‑ Bill Weber, Slant Magazine
"While the sights and the sounds aren't enough to constitute a great movie in and of themselves, they do result in a fascinating document."
‑ Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger
"Come Back, Africa is a timely and remarkable piece of cinema journalism: a matter-of-fact, horrifying study of life in the black depths of South African society."
‑ , TIME Magazine
"A perfect marriage between art and radical politics."
‑ Louis Proyect,
"Come Back, Africa is a work of amazing grace-and a forgotten treasure."
‑ Sam Adams, Time Out New York
"What it lacks in dramatic structure, it makes up in pictorial urgency."
‑ Bosley Crowther, New York Times
"Miriam Makeba's sensual song performances gives the film a level of vibrancy and passionate energy."
‑ Phil Hall, Film Threat
More reviews for Come Back, Africa on Rotten Tomatoes