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Africa Speaks! (1930)

Passed  |   |  Documentary, Adventure, History  |  15 August 1930 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.2/10 from 49 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 2 critic

Explorer Paul Hoefler leads a safari into central Africa and what was then called the Belgian Congo, in the regions inhabited by the Wassara and the famous Ubangi tribes.



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Title: Africa Speaks! (1930)

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Credited cast:
Harald Austin ...
Paul L. Hoefler ...
Himself (as Paul Hoefler)
Lowell Thomas ...
Himself (narrator)


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

africa | safari | pygmy | locust | lion | See All (37) »


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Release Date:

15 August 1930 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Afrika spricht!  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The failure of the original copyright holder to renew the film's copyright resulted in it falling into public domain, meaning that virtually anyone could duplicate and sell a VHS/DVD copy of the film. Therefore, many of the versions of this film available on the market are either severely (and usually badly) edited and/or of extremely poor quality, having been duped from second- or third-generation (or more) copies of the film. See more »


Spoofed in Africa Squeaks (1931) See more »

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User Reviews

Awful grandeur
3 May 2003 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

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.

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