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world becomes unexplainable when the tribe's spiritual explanations, heretofore accepted , are replaced by the "reality" of western terminology. In Rogosin's film, Blacks are alienated from white society because they move between two irreconcilable world-views. With a flawed sense of social interaction and an imprecise study ofthe tribal-technological conflict, Rogosin's film falls quite short ofan adequate documentary study of South African apartheid. But studied within the context ofthe then popular theory of "infantilism" and of Achebe's novel, a unit can be devised which studies a period in historiography as well as its racial attitudes. Ifthis unit is followed by a unit on nationalism including books like The Autobiography of Malcolm X and films like Nothing But a Man (1964) and Battle ofAlgiers (1968), Come Back, Africa can be a useful teaching film. In fact, Nothing But a Man and Come Back, Africa have much in common, even though the later film studied racism in the American South. Like Zachariah, Duff Anderson (played by Ivan Dixon) exists in an unreasonable world where jobs are given to docile workers while "troublemakers" are forced to move "up North." Zachariah learns ofhis new atmosphere in the "shebeen" discussions concerning politics; the music is tribal. For Duff, saloons and pool halls serve the same purpose; the music is Motown popular. Rogosin's documentary footage of Sophiatown is matched in the newer film with actual footage of Birmingham's slums. The major difference between the two films involves the possibilities for change. By confronting characters from the submissive past—the minister and the drunken father—Duff and Josie (played by Abbey Lincoln) understand their responsibility and choose to fight for a new situation, which at least seems possible. But Zachariah, because he never understands the causes of his problems and because others around him have accepted their lot, ends worse than he began, and thus the situation seems hopeless. As a documentary intended to generate anger and to motivate action, Rogosin succeeds only in depicting pathos. Nothing But A Man ends not with a solution but with the root beginnings ofrebellion; it encourages action. With unbelievable dialog, ineffective situations, weak acting, overlong scenes, poorly edited shots, and a confused structure, Come Back, Africa when used by itself seems to cloud issues and make the situation appear unalterable. For a documentary, that is a dangerous, harmful, and tragic flaw. FILM & HISTORY NEWS HFC/NATIONAL ARCHIVES SCREENING We are pleased to announce that there will be a screening ofshort films of special interest to the historian during the AHA meeting in Washington, D.C. Jointly sponsored by the Historians Film Committee and the National Archives, the screening will be held in the fifth floor theater ofthe National Archives Building on December 28 from 5 to 7 PM. To attend you must enter by way ofthe Pennsylvania Avenue lobby and be escorted to the fifth floor. The schedule of films is as follows: The Only Eiehty Years (Corporation for Entertainment and Learning, 1 978) 1 0 min. An Interview With George Bernard Shaw (Fox Movietone, 1 927) 6 min. 46 Pathe News (Pathe, 1932) 10 min. The Road is Open Again (Warner Brothers for the N.R.A., 1933) 10 min. Orson Welles "War of the Worlds" Press Conference (Outtakes from Universal Newsreel, 1938) 7 min. On Foreign Newsfronts (March of Time, 1940) 19 min. Reason and Emotion (Walt Disney, 1943) 8 min. Der Fuehrer's Face (Walt Disney, 1 943) 8 min. Camel News Caravan (NBC News, 1949) 15 min. Evening News Broadcasts (Compilation of Department of Defense on the TET Offensive, 1968) 30 min. HFC ANNUAL MEETING: TELEVISION AND THE HISTORIAN The annual meeting ofthe Historians Film Committee will be held, as usual, in conjunction with the American Historical Assoc. This year we will meet in the Sheridan Colorado room at 5 PM. on December 29. Our short business meeting will be immediately for-lowed by a workshop session entitled "Television and the Historian," featuring three presentations ofparticular interest: Television as Resource: TV News and the Historian Faye Schreibman, Director, Television News Study Center, George Washington University Television as Interpreter: You Are There Robert F. Horowitz, Rutgers University Television as Historical Subject...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1548-9922
Print ISSN
0360-3695
Pages
pp. 43-46
Launched on MUSE
2013-01-02
Open Access
No
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