Africa is home to scenic landscape that includes rolling mountains such as the Cape Ranges, great rivers like River Nile, deserts and other natural features. The beauty attracts both tourists and film-makers to the continent.
Several famous Hollywood movies have been shot on the continent. Some have gone on to win global movie awards, while some actors have become household names across the continent.
Here are some great movies shot on the continent;
Lord of War
It is a crime and thriller based film that was shot in South Africa. It was released on September 16, 2005. The lead actor was Nicolas Cage. The movie was inspired by a Russian businessman and former soldier in the Soviet army, Victor Bout. Bout is known as the ‘Merchant of War’ for his deals in drug smuggling and international trafficking of arms that fuelled civil wars in Liberia, Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo and Sierra Leone. In 2006, the movie won Special Recognition for Excellence in Filmmaking at Political Film Society in the USA.
It was shot in 2005 in Loiyangalani and Kibera Slums in Kenya. It is political thriller that is based on the experiences of Justin Quayle who is trying to unearth the murder of his wife, Tessa Quayle, a medical doctor. This movie was based on a true story about the death of several Nigerians after a trial meningitis treatment drug went wrong, in Kano, Nigeria in the 1990’s. In 2006, Rachel Weisz, who played Tessa Quayle won ‘Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role’ at the Oscar Academy Awards.
It was shot in 2012 in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It tells the story of a Komona (Rachel Mwanza), a 12- year old girl who was abducted and forced into becoming a child soldier in a civil war. It follows her life as a rebel from the day when she was forced to kill her parents, and other horrible experiences that she went through and saw fellow child soldiers under at the hands of Mauritius. Rachel Mwanza won ‘Best Actress, at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival in Canada.
It was shot in 2009 in South Africa. The movie tells the story of how rugby played a leading role in uniting the country that had just gained independence but was struggling to heal form apartheid. Springboks, the nation’s national rugby team, captained by Francois Botha had won the Rugby World Cup in 1995, a year after gaining independence. His role is played by Matt Damon while the president, Nelson Mandela is played by Morgan Freeman. In 2010, the US National Board of Review awarded Morgan Freeman ‘Best Actor’ for his role as Mandela.
Blood Diamond (Image: fanart.tv)
It was shot in Mozambique and South Africa in 2006. Leonardo DiCaprio plays the role of a South African mercenary who alongside, Djimon Hounsou joined hands in the hunt of the precious mineral. The movie tells the story of how illegal trade of diamonds was used by warlords and rebels finance devastating civil wars in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Angola and Democratic Republic of Congo. Millions of people were killed in the bloody conflicts. At the Oscars in 2007, Leonardo DiCaprio was nominated for the ‘Best Actor’ while Djimon Hounsou won ‘Best Supporting Actor’.
The Last King of Scotland
It was shot in Uganda in 2006. It tells the story of former Ugandan dictator, Idi Amin, from his humble beginnings to being a president who ruled with an iron fisted and his dictatorial tendencies drove fear into all Ugandans. It is told through the eyes of his Scottish doctor. Forest Whitaker played the role of Idi Amin while his personal doctor is Nicholas Garrigan, a young Scottish man. In 2007, lead actor, Forest Whitaker won ‘Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role’ at the Oscar Awards.
It was shot in South Africa in 2005. It is a film adaptation of Tsotsi, a novel. Lead actor is Athol Fugard who plays the role of Tsotsi, a young South African gang leader in Alexandra Slum, Johannesburg. Tsootsi stole a car only to find a baby strapped in the back-seat. This leads to a series of events that eventually see him hand himself over to the police and also hand over the baby. In 2006, the movie won the Academy Award for ‘Best Foreign Language Film’ in the US.
Beasts of No Nation
It is a drama and war movie that was shot in 2015 in Accra, Ghana. It is about the life of a child soldier, Agu, who was recruited by Idris Elba, the commandant of a child army fighting in an African country. It follows his survival as a civil war tears his nation apart, and his father and brother are killed by rebels who storm their village. He is captured in the forests by the rebels where he had escaped to. He is the transformed into a brutal child soldier. He is later rescued by United Nations troops who destroy the rebel camps. He is taken to a missionary school where he tries hard to forget his horrible experiences as a child soldier. Idris Elba won ‘Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role’ at the 2016 Screen Actors Guild Awards.
Sometimes in April
It was shot in 2005 in Rwanda. It is about the gruesome genocide that hit the nation in 1994, leaving about one million people dead. The movie is about two brothers; one working as a journalist and the other a captain in the Rwandese army. The film tells the story of how the genocide started after President Juvenal Habyarimana’s jet was shot down. His death led to a bitter war between the Hutus and Tustis. It tells how people struggled to survive as the violence escalated and their road to recovery and healing after the violence.
It was shot in 1984 in Kenya and Zimbabwe. Cry Freedom tells the story of how South Africans lived in oppression and discrimination during the apartheid rule. The story revolves around the life of South Africa’s anti-apartheid hero, Steve Biko (Denzel Washington), and his efforts in fighting discrimination. At the 1988 Berlin International Film Festival, the movie won ‘Peace Film Award-Honorable Mention’. In 1988, Denzel Washington won ‘Best Actor in a Supporting Role’ at the Academy Awards in USA.
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