This I need to see… because I’ve actually never seen it. From Africa Is A Country:
In January next year Film Forum will screen the restored film classic “Come Back, Africa” (1959) by the late American director, Lionel Rogosin. The screening will coincide with the 100th anniversary of South Africa’s ruling party, the ANC […] In case you need reminding, this film is a standard bearer of… modern South African cinema […] “Come Back, Africa,” shot in black and white and with a documentary feel, is the story of the daily grind and humiliations endured by a black migrant worker (on the mines and as a garden boy to a white family) in Johannesburg. More broadly, it was the first film that exposed the daily workings of Apartheid. It would also introduce the world to postwar black urban culture South Africa, and, specifically, singer Miriam Makeba. Largely improvised and in part co-written by the then 36-year old Rogosin (in the country on a tourist visa) with a group of black South African intellectuals and filmed clandestinely over a three week period, the film was immediately banned by the South African dictatorship.
If you own one of those multi-region DVD players, you’ll find for sale a Region 2 3-disc set (below) of director Rogosin’s films, including On the Bowery (1957 – a mix of documentary and scripted footage on the Bowery district, then New York City’s skid row), Good Times, Wonderful Times (1966 – an anti-war film), and the aforementioned Come Back, Africa.
The film was premiered in 1960 at the Venice film festival, winning the prestigious Italian Critics Award, and was selected by Time magazine as one of the “Ten Best Pictures of 1960.”
Like I said, I need to see this and will… finally…
Here’s a preview of Come Back, Africa: