In Darkest Hollywood: Cinema and Apartheid

Politics of film-making during the apartheid era

directed by: Peter Davis, Daniel Riesenfeld
produced by: Peter Davis, Daniel Riesenfeld
(1994) 112 minutes
1993 2 x 56 min

(French and Spanish versions also available)

NOTE: Book with same title available only from Villon Films

Almost from the beginning of cinema, filmmakers have looked at the continent of Africa with a mixture of fear and fascination, prejudice and contempt. South Africa, with its fabulous mineral wealth, exotic locations, and white settlers, attracted scores of movie makers. Now, when the era of white rule has ended, IN DARKEST HOLLYWOOD asks, What was the role of cinema during the 45 year reign of apartheid?

Through a mosaic of feature, documentary, and propaganda films, with commentary by writers, directors, and actors, some of whom supported apartheid, and others who fought to destroy it, IN DARKEST HOLLYWOOD turns the lens towards the filmmakers and the society they so often misunderstood and misrepresented.

This two-part series examines the role of cinema in both supporting and attacking apartheid. It questions Hollywood’s commitment to racial stereo types and reluctance to depict black heroes.

Among those appearing are: Lewis Nkosi, Zakes Mokae, Sir Richard Attenborough, Lonel Rogosin, Thomas Mogotlane, Andre Brink, Euzhan Palcy.

First Prize, Big Muddy Film Festival
Gold Plaque Award, Chicago International Film Festival
London Film Festival, Berlin Film Festival, Amsterdam Film Festival.