Actors Djimon Hounsou and Leonardo DiCaprio match wits in the film ‘Blood Diamond.’ Professor MaryEllen Higgins believes the film exemplifies the ‘Western savior’ theme, common to modern Hollywood films about Africa.
The forthcoming book Hollywood’s Africa after 1994 investigates Hollywood’s colonial film legacy in the post-apartheid era, and contemplates what’s changed in how the West represents Africa. It’s author, MaryEllen Higgins, sees a new type of covert — though not necessarily malicious — type of racism in Hollywood’s representations of modern Africa.
This simplified, paternalistic view of Africa and Africans finds its way to Western audiences under the guise of human rights and other well-meaning themes, commonly centering on a savior from the west, be it a person, country or international body.
Milos Stehlik’s ranks Kartemquin’s 2008 film with director/producer David Simpson, Milking the Rhino, among the best Africa films by foreign filmmakers. Among the worst: Blood Diamond, Out of Africa and Black Hawk Down.
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