Contrary to what some filmmakers would like you to believe, life in Africa is not all wilderness, famine, war, disease, and hungry animals. That’s why I cringe whenever I hear of projects like director Darrell Roodt’s found-footage South Africa-set film, Safari.
The tagline for Safari is “This Is Africa.” [Insert side-eye HERE]
As an African himself, who has done film and TV which better represent South African life specifically (Sarafina, Cry, The Beloved Country, Room 9), I’m surprised at Roodt for this one.
The main problem I have with this project is that it reinforces a perception that far too many people have of what Africa is– a tourist attraction full of wild animals and natives who are all too eager to guide visitors through it.
Here’s the synopsis I was able to find for Safari:
Safari is an American, found footage thriller film, set in South
African wild, where animals and poachers rule the land. Two worlds
collide when Mbali, a young Zulu girl, meets an American tourist group
who have come to explore and go on safari in South Africa. Things take a
wrong turn after the group enter uncharted hunting grounds where they
are forced to face the untamed wild.
Really? Again? I know I’ve heard this before.
South Africa is a lively, beautiful, and diverse country full of many interesting African people. Theirs are stories worth telling, too. But this is the best they could do?
Even the trailer for Safari, which was shot in Johannesburg, is practically devoid of any Africans, besides some quick shots of African men smiling, looking terrified, and laid out, presumably having gotten their asses chewed up by some wild and mysterious African beast.
No word on when this Azari Media and Moonrise Pictures production will hit theaters; although I highly doubt that many S&A readers will be holding their breaths in anticipation of its release.