Al Freeman Jr. was originally cast in the role of Red Salter. When he was unable to complete filming due to illness and other commitments, his scenes were re-shot with Greg Morris in the role. See more »
Rare Late Blaxploitation Entry In Era Of Still Radical Content In Films
Countdown at Kusini aka Cool Red comes from a period when Hollywood releases were in flux, responding to the changing audience since the mid 1960s.Actors Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee had been disturbed by the stereotypes of African Americans as pimps and thugs circulated in the popular early 70s black exploitation genre, which was coming to an end.Wanting to offer more positive images of Negro liberation they teamed up with the nation,s largest black sorority to produce a story centered on a revolution in a mythical African country, based on a radical leader in Guinea Bisseau who was later commemorated with a stamp by the East German government.the resulting production was plagued by difficulties and mistakes in distribution decisions,and the film as it can be seen today (an educational library video in the TV format was made from a surviving 16mm collector,s print) is not without crudities.But getting to hear dialogue such as that calling out the enemy in Africa as no longer colonial powers but multinational corporations who hire outside mercenaries to thwart rebellion, is refreshing.Especially in 2018 when some of what passes for progressive content (Black Panther) is comic book superhero bombast ,with tired Stalinist tropes dating back to the 1930s.
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