Below you'll find documentary trailers of films surrounding African issues. These are just a few I picked out that have great YouTube trailers. Brief explanations of the documentaries are provided below each video. These are only a few of the films I watched and recommend, but this will provide a great start! They are all very well done and convey such a raw sense of reality and honesty that so few Hollywood films are able to capture in documenting African issues and stories.
Empire in Africa (2006)
This video documentary showed a conflict not entirely talked about as much as Rwanda or Darfur; the documentary talked about the conflict in Sierra Leone. While many people have seen the movie, Blood Diamonds, not too many people have seen this documentary. Both discuss the issue of blood diamonds, but this documentary provides a holistic approach to both sides of the conflict and all the players involved. This documentary provided me with a differing perspective of Western countries and agencies' actions and the motives behind them.
War Dance (2007)
This documentary covered the topic of Northern Uganda and the use of child soldiers in the conflict between the rebel group, known as the Lord’s Resistance Army, and the government. While the conscription of children presents the challenges faced by the children in these communities, the film focuses on the resilience of these children. Despite their circumstances, they still steadfastly pursue their cultural dance and show their love and pride in their people and their traditions.
God Grew Tired of Us (2006)
This documentary is about the lost boys of Sudan. These boys traveled many miles and faced insurmountable barriers to their survival into their refugee camp. Fortunately, they were able to gain passage to the United States as refugees. This film shows their journey from Africa, with their traditions and simplistic way of life, all the way to the United States, with a completely different environment and way of living. This documentary inspired me to look at the refugees in the community near my university because of the significant challenges I saw these refugees face upon entering the land of the "American Dream."
Ghosts of Rwanda (2004)
This video documentary is from Frontline PBS and focuses on the genocide and destruction leading up to the horrific acts of 1994 in Rwanda. The film not only focuses on the internal struggles between the Tutsis and the Hutu in Rwanda, but also on the international community’s struggle to take action to end this deadly situation.
Darwin's Nightmare (2004)
This documentary details the exploitation of the Tanzanian people, and especially women. The outside exporters that come in to fill their planes with Tanzania's fish often leave the fishermen and local people empty handed. The women feel forced to sell sex as the only way to earn a living and these exporters have no problem taking advantage of the precarious situation in which these women find themselves. Their lack of responsibility and sense of superiority over Tanzanians is confirmed with their response that this is "just business."