Louis Proyect Review of COME BACK, AFRICA

Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

Starting a one-week run tonight at the Film Forum in New York, a new 35 mm restoration of Lionel Rogosin’s “Come Back, Africa” is a truly special event. Made in apartheid South Africa in 1959, it is the first film to lift up a rock and expose the racist system to the light of day.

In defiance of the prevailing Cold War conformity and the Hollywood film industry’s assembly-line production of schlock, Rogosin became a guerrilla fighter using a Bolex camera rather than a machine gun. He had pledged to resist racism wherever he saw it and apartheid South Africa was about as tempting a target as could be imagined.

The National Party had won the elections in 1948 and instituted the system that was finally abolished with the legalization of the ANC and Nelson Mandela’s presidency. But in 1959 the system was in full bloom. Just a year after…

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