Hear the hoof-beats of the gnus and see a young boy chased down and killed by a lion (sans the screams)was what "Africa Speaks!" promised, and delivered. Filmed on the Colorado African Expedition of 1928, headed by Paul L. Hoefler, this film rose above the 'jungle-graph' films of the past---"Chang" excepted---because of the sound and not the views of the Dark Continent offered, albeit most of these were new views that some of the critics debated over whether or not some of them were staged. It contained: a locust swarm that devoured everything but the expedition camera; a visit to the duck-billed pygmy tribe in which the females of the tribe had discs inserted beneath their lips when very young and, as they grow older, larger discs replace the previous discs; an antelope---called and spelled illampa in the film---that jumps forty feet backward or forward when frightened and some slow-motion shots are used. "Africa Speaks!" showed Africa to be both dangerous and noisy. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In 1930 RCA Victor released 'African Serenade', described on the label as "based on native rhythms as heard in Columbia picture Africa Speaks". It was written by Harry DeCosta and Nathaniel Shilkret and recorded by The Victor Orchestra under Shilkret with vocal refrain by Frank Luther. The disc can be heard at The Internet Archive site. See more »
This film is striking for several reasons. The obvious footage of animals and insects was magnificent, and so was the scenes of the veldt, regardless of the animals. But, beyond that, the whole feeling of the daily hardship of life on the African continent 70 odd years ago was almost overwhelming. This film brought the living in fear of lions, locust, tsetse flies and other dangers into sharp relief for me. It was well worth watch if only to get the historical sense of life on the dark continent.
8 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?