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Germany, 1999

Production : Martin Baer Filmproduktion, ZDF

Programmed by Jürgen Ellinghaus





A compilation film about the myth that Germany built up around Africa, still seen as a single “large country of magic and death”, with 500 excerpts from feature films, reports, news items, cartoons, advertisements (including some for the Foreign Legion), music videos and video games to illustrate the media image of Africa, from Nazi propaganda during the Second World War to the end of the twentieth century. A compilation of documents, some of them previously unpublished, from numerous East and West German archives, that focuses in particular on the political and military aspect of German-African relations.

Tënk's opinion

Alternating accounts from former combatants, legionnaires and officers who contributed to the glorification of a certain triumphant “Germanness”, the film constructs its theme with a fast-paced and tightly woven collage. “Befreien Sie Afrika!”, which takes a fresh look at a little known iconographic legacy both hair-raising and troublesome, is more than just a compilation of footage. With its editing – political but also deliberately polemical – that juxtaposes military and filmmaking bigwigs, eras and regimes, Martin Baer suggests that thanks to this veil of smoke thrown up by the clichés and stereotypes of the popular image of Africa – fuelled by a “well-meaning” paternalism – very real European politico-industrial strategies could be deployed, which often turned out to be disastrous for the populations concerned.

Jürgen Ellinghaus
Programmer, director

Item 1 of 4
Item 1 of 4

Item 1 of 4