THE BLACK MAN’S LAND TRILOGY


WHITE MAN’S COUNTRY         MAU MAU          KENYATTA



 
 

The rise of powerful nationalist movements and the collapse of colonial regimes across much of Africa  in the 1950’s and 60’s did little to alter the dominant cinematic images of the continent.  They remained what they had always been: exotic animals, big game hunters, dashing white settlers, and colorful if not incomprehensible “natives.”


In 1969, Anthony Howarth, David Koff and Msindo Mwinyipembe set out to address the imbalance.  They had first met in Kenya in the mid-1960’s when Howarth, a professional magazine photographer, was assembling a photographic biography of Kenya’s first president, Jomo Kenyatta.  Koff, then in the PhD program at the University of California, Berkeley, was an editor at the East African Publishing House, which published the Kenyatta book. Mwinyipembe was a well-known Ugandan-Tanzanian  broadcaster who had worked for the BBC World Service and then had her own programs on Voice of Kenya Radio and Television.


With a wealth of still photographic material on hand from the Kenyatta biography and a wide range of personal contacts in Kenya, Howarth, Koff and Mwinyipembe spent the first six months of 1970 filming on the ground and from the air.  Their timing was auspicious, for there were many Kenyans still living who not only recalled the early stages of colonial rule in the 1890’s and 1900’s, but had taken part in the local and national resistance to it.  Among those interviewed were underground leaders of the “Mau Mau” movement, European settlers and former colonial officials, and members of Kenyatta’s family.  Kenyatta himself declined to be interviewed.


Upon returning to the UK to edit the material, the filmmakers scoured the photographic and film archives of Rhodes House at Oxford University, the Imperial War Museum, the British Museum, Pathe and Movietone newsreels, the BBC and other sources, uncovering and incorporating many previously unseen images of Africa’s history into the Trilogy.  They recruited a young Peter Frampton to compose and perform the score for White Man’s Country, and Keefe West, a versatile London-based actor, to provide the voice of Kenyatta in the Kenyatta film.  Msindo Mwinyipembe did the narration and voice-overs for the entire Trilogy.


Most of those interviewed for the Trilogy have died since the films were completed in 1973.  But their testimony, their experience, and their knowledge is just as stirring and authentic today.  That’s why, more than 40 years later, The Black Man’s Land Trilogy is still watched in theaters and on television, in classrooms and in libraries, all over the world.   Its re-release now on DVD will make it even more accessible to those who would like to have the Trilogy in their personal collections.


CREDITS

PRODUCED BY

Total Running Time: 156 minutes (3 x 52 minutes)


Originally filmed on 16mm Kodak Ektachrome Reversal

Now available only on DVD


© ANTHONY DAVID PRODUCTIONS, INC.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


 


CRITICAL ACCLAIM FOR THE BLACK MAN’S LAND TRILOGY


"A treasure store of old stills, buried newsreels and contemporary interviews, supported by meticulous research and synthesized with the most sensitive acumen.  A unique record of what colonialism means in human terms." 

--Judy Stone

San Francisco Chronicle  


"A rare, penetrating and yet sympathetic look at African nationalism." 

--Peter Mwaura

The Standard (Nairobi)  


"A solid historical document skewed, valuably, to a distinctive African point of view.  By affording a forum for black leaders, past and present, it conveys the sense of an enduring dignity that no colonialist rationalizations can eliminate." 

--John J. O'Connor

The New York Times  



HOW TO PURCHASE THE BLACK MAN’S LAND TRILOGY


Sales on this site are for private, home use only.  Organizations, libraries, schools, colleges and other institutional buyers who require Public Performance Rights should inquire at info@cinemagician.net for prices.  Institutions that have previously acquired the series on 16mm film and/or on VHS cassette will receive a discount on their DVD replacement order.


For private, home use only the price of the Trilogy is $24.95 plus shipping.  All orders are shipped by U.S. Post Office Priority Mail.  Order now by using the secure PayPal button below.


















making the trilogy