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A Terrible Ugliness Is Born

Film Review
Michel de Saint Louis

A Terrible Ugliness is Born

“The purpose of this film is to bid farewell to the old Africa that is dying” -Opening Credits, Africa Addio


The old Africa, the Africa the late Victorians created, is dead. Well and truly. We said goodbye to it over 60 years ago. The colonies and European rulers are all gone. Much of the enlightened Western world cheered these fledgling African nations as they began their journey to independence — only to see them crash and burn immediately. From peaceful European rule to massacres, revolutions, and unleashing total carnage on every living creature, all in a matter of weeks or months.

The documentary Africa Addio (Goodbye Africa) is a look at the decolonization of sub-Saharan Africa. It captures this process through vignettes interspersed with stunning nature scenes and a wonderful soundtrack. The audience is taken on a trip across Africa and shown the various ways the newly liberated people are employing their freedom. The directors Gualtiero Jacopetti and Franco E. Prosperi constantly put themselves in harm’s way to bring these events to us. For example, in Zanzibar, they were shot at while flying and later almost executed in Dar es Salaam for filming a massacre site.

The film opens with a ceremony relieving the British government of command and handing it off to the new African government. The whole display is very proper and conducted in the best of manners, but soon enough we are thrown into the chaotic reality of decolonization, where very little makes sense apart from anger and hatred of the white man. Masses of people causing wanton destruction — Portuguese eggs are thrown off a balcony by the crateload, a steamroller crushes South African oranges, and South African beer bottles are smashed. These exports are being destroyed to show the people have no support for colonizer nations. People are dancing in the wet piles of fruit and eggs obliterated in the streets. The ignorance of destroying food you already own — and need — sums up the wretched state of these new nations. But things get much worse.

Destruction for its own sake is something that often upsets people, and it will upset you in this film, I hope. In the Kenyan Highlands, lavish estates now house 10,000 natives living in abject squalor. Watch as they burn the home’s furnishings to heat themselves. Look on in shock as even the landscaping is ripped out by diesel tractors. No trace of the white man can be allowed to remain.

The Mau Mau torture cattle. They slice the hind legs, forcing the farmers to euthanize the beasts. We see waves of mass poaching. The poachers tie a rope between two jeeps and chase a zebra herd. Once the jeeps get past the herd the rope trips and breaks the legs of the zebras, allowing for easy capture and pelt harvesting.

Mass murder sweeps across Africa. We are shown a few of the massacres. We see a pile of fifty-four amputated hands belonging to the Watusi — commonly known today as the Tutsi (yes, the ones from Rwanda). While the editors decide to spare us from watching the massacres happen, we are shown before and after scenes. Crowds huddled together lay in piles only minutes later. We see white Christians slaughtered in Sudan, as the filmmakers’ plane flies over a smoldering lifeless village. Many of these massacres also show us the perpetrators after they are captured. Silent, sullen men stare at the camera.

The last vestiges of European vitality are shown through the gun barrel of the mercenary. I would wager any online clips of mercenaries will feature parts of this film. Belgians and Rhodesians fight to repel the advances of barbarism. They are not seeking conquest but often just saving innocents, both white and black. These scenes are tremendously exciting, as we see men selflessly charge into buildings, fire wildly into the jungle, and storm rebel-held towns. These hard men are the last breath of life as Europe leaves these new nations.

It’s telling that the one scene that got the directors in trouble wasn’t a massacre of Europeans or Arabs, but a scene showing a man receiving swift justice for the crime of burning 27 children alive. The rebel who did this was executed on camera, which got Jacopetti jailed by the Italian government until he could prove he did not organize the execution himself.

Africa Addio serves as a window, not just onto Africa’s recent past, but our potential future. As Europe, America, and Canada import millions of people from Africa, South America, and the Middle East, we should be aware of what our futures may hold. The year might be different and you might have a stronger claim to your lands than the African Boer but you will face the same challenges. You will be held as complicit in the nebulous, ill-defined process of colonization.

When Bronze Age Pervert refers to Hutu thinking or Bantu violence, or to the “Interhamwe Left”, the scenes in Africa Addio furnish us with real examples. We see petulant people, taking out their rage, not to achieve a better outcome, but to punish those they see as oppressors. From Africans in Zanzibar slaughtering Arabs, to Tutsis being massacred in the jungle, or modern-day machete attacks in London, we are looking at the same ideology. It is decolonization that supports blind violence against those deemed to be oppressors. The forces that want to bring Africa to your doorstep have no desire to stop there. Throughout the movie, we see the reality of race-Marxism on display. It does not end with changing the race of actors on Netflix movies.

South Africa is shown at the end of the Africa Addio as the last bastion of white Africa. The white South Africans are compared with the South African penguin, also a foreign creature eking out survival in a hostile world. But unlike those living in South Africa, Rhodesia, the Belgian Congo, the Kenyan Highlands, or any other European enclave in Africa, there is nowhere else for us to flee. If we turn the West into a “liberated” colony, there is no older Europe for us. This is a point made forcefully in Michel Houellebecq’s novel Submission, but the implications are much easier for us to understand when we can see them rather than imagining them from the page.

Africa Addio is not only a glimpse of our foolish past, but a vision of our future if nothing changes. And as we bid farewell to Africa 60 years ago, we shall soon say farewell to America and Europe.


Almighty lord now that another day dies in your glory,

Bless and protect our lives.

Bless and protect our forces.

As it is written that the hyena shall prevail over the lion,

When the lion has no more claws left with which to rule.

Grant that this sea whence we came shall always lie before us,

And never at our backs.

Bless and protect this, our last refuge,

Which you led us to find unspoiled on the day we came,

and in which have resisted hatred and violence.

Lastly, bless and protect the waves and the winds,

that the fury of two oceans united shall not wrest us away forever in these final shores.


– South African Soldier’s prayer at the end of Africa Addio

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