The Empire in Africa
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Located in Western Africa, Sierra Leone is a nation caught in a struggle between extreme poverty and extreme wealth; while diamond mining provides the bulk of the country's income, most of its people struggle to survive by raising their own crops. In 1991, a civil war broke out in Sierra Leone, with a rebel group called the Revolutionary United Front taking on government forces in a bid for a more just economy and an end to hunger. However, the forces behind Sierra Leone's mining interests were more interested in protecting their investments than changing the economy, and both the… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 67%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"That Empire lacks clear-cut heroes and villains is not necessarily a fault, but the movie's muddle too often comes across as an attempt to avoid assigning responsibility where it belongs."
‑ Sam Adams, Los Angeles Times
"Filmmaker Philippe Diaz makes a strong case for blaming the international community in general, and the United Nations in particular, for the needless protraction of a conflict that left 70,000 dead and millions displaced."
‑ Joe Leydon, Variety
"Diaz refuses to accept received wisdom about the RUF's savagery, and it clearly took more than one revolutionary movement to reduce Sierra Leone to abject poverty."
‑ Maitland McDonagh, TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Philippe Diaz's tumultuous documentary is a noble but failed attempt to explicate the tragedy of Sierra Leone's 11-year civil war."
‑ Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times
"Highly recommended as a sobering companion piece to Hollywood's relatively-sanitized version of the same subject-matter in Blood Diamond."
‑ Kam Williams,
"[A] harrowing but provocative work of documentary filmmaking."
‑ Ray Greene, Boxoffice Magazine
"It's possible that Diaz's sympathy for the RUF is symptomatic of a lingering tendency on the left to sanctify anything that calls itself a revolutionary front."
‑ Ella Taylor, L.A. Weekly
"There are images in "The Empire in Africa" that I wish I'd never seen, but it's worth enduring them to hear a side of the story that the media and Hollywood overlooked."
‑ Rob Thomas, Capital Times (Madison, WI)
"Absolutely powerful indictment of imperialist greed in Sierra Leone. Reveals the hypocrisy of "humanitarian" interventions."
‑ Louis Proyect,
More reviews for The Empire in Africa on Rotten Tomatoes