The Empire in Africa (2006)
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Critic Reviews for The Empire in Africa
That Empire lacks clear-cut heroes and villains is not necessarily a fault, but the movie's muddle too often comes across as an attempt to avoid assigning responsibility where it belongs.
Philippe Diaz's tumultuous documentary is a noble but failed attempt to explicate the tragedy of Sierra Leone's 11-year civil war.
It's possible that Diaz's sympathy for the RUF is symptomatic of a lingering tendency on the left to sanctify anything that calls itself a revolutionary front.
Filmmaker Philippe Diaz makes a strong case for blaming the international community in general, and the United Nations in particular, for the needless protraction of a conflict that left 70,000 dead and millions displaced.
Highly recommended as a sobering companion piece to Hollywood's relatively-sanitized version of the same subject-matter in Blood Diamond.
Audience Reviews for The Empire in Africa
[font=Century Gothic]"The Empire in Africa" is a heartrending and eye-opening documentary about the civil war in Sierra Leone that lasted from 1991-1999, leaving 70,000 dead and 2 million displaced, 400,000 outside of the country. The civil war started when the Revolutionary United Front(RUF) began an uprising against the corrupt one-party government in an attempt to redistribute some of the vast wealth of the country that was otherwise going to western interests. And it was western influence on the United Nations Security Council which would unnecessarily prolong the conflict, making life on the civilian population that much harder, especially where atrocities were concerned. The documentary featuring interviews with all sides of the conflict is definitely on the side of the RUF. So, it would be disingenuous in any case to suggest that only the government forces were behind the atrocities which multiple shots of amputees and footage of people being shot in the street attest to. In the end, this civil war is another case study where the civilian population matter little in neocolonialist schemes where a watered-down form of democracy is forced down their throats in an attempt to manipulate internal policies in the country. Sound familiar?[/font]
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