Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Africa Addio (1966) (aka Adieu Africa or Africa Blood and Guts)
Sent to Africa to make the next Mondo Cane movie the film makers found themselves in the middle of several revolutions. What they would film would form the basis of a damning attack on everyone, both black and white, involved in the shift in power on the Dark Continent.
I've watched the three versions (140 original, 122 shorter version and 80 minute Africa Blood and Guts version) of this film and I'm a fan of all of them. Interestingly the one I like the least is the original cut of the film which has several snide comments and re-dubbed voices that make the film truly rude and cruel for no good reason. The original cut goes out of its way to have a holier than thou view that is missing from both of the English cuts. The original cut also has several more minutes of animal cruelty that is completely uncalled for.
(For the record The two longer versions basically cover the same material but the shorter one is missing many of the needless animal hunting scenes and has a slightly different narration track which is less rude. The very short Blood and Guts is not a cut the directors approve of, the film being cut more for its purely exploitative scenes. In its defense it has something about it that I find makes it just as valid as the longer versions of the material)
This film ran into serious trouble upon its original release because charges were brought, though later found to be false, that the film makers had paid some of the soldiers to kill some one so that they could film it. (this charge would form the basis for The Wild Eye, a fictional film about the making of a mondo movie made by another Mondo Cane director) Considering all of the the death and destruction in this film I find it hard to believe that anyone would have had to have been paid to kill anyone.
Yes, its a tough film, but it leaves no one with clean hands, even the film makers.
See this film. It will make you think.
The film is out on DVD officially in the Mondo Cane box set or in a version that has the two longer cuts of the film in a single DVD package and they are great to see and hear. Africa Blood and Guts is out in addition that is from a lesser source print.