“….You get the feeling that pretty much everyone involved is acting on behalf of his or her own life. Which of course is the case. And that’s even more awe-inspiring, when you think about it, than the film’s time-capsule value, which is considerable. Rogosin’s individual images of dusty Soweto and the teeming mines are striking and poignant, but the views of the center of workday Johannesburg are the most disarming and, finally, unsettling. The cars, the clothes, all very indicative of a completely up-to-date metropolitan locale. One big movie theater’s showing The Prisoner of Zenda, another is showingFiend Without A Face. It’s almost nostalgia-inducing, until you remember that this is Johannesburg…apartheid central. And then it hits you that, lack of particular skyscrapers aside, the place doesn’t look all that much different than pictures of New York City in the same period. And that’s terrifying.
Come Back, Africa plays at New York’s Film Forum through February 7. Go see it if you can, and look for the Milestone release in an arthouse near you… Martin Scorsese speaks the truth when he calls this “a heroic film.”
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