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This film promised to bring African culture to the screen in true colours and textures. The directors of the film, the Korda brothers, shot over eleven hours of film of African tribal culture, wildlife and landscape. Robeson's character, the African Chief Bosambo, seemed credible and dignified in the original script.
When the film was released there was little of the documentary footage and reflected an imperialist storyline. The film had been rewritten and reshot. The final cut was a glorification of colonial rule in Africa.
Compare what Robeson said of it before and after.
"You know this film is a very exciting thing for me. For the first time since I began acting, I feel that I've found ... that there's something out of my own culture which I can express and perhaps preserve." 1935
"It is the only one of my films that can be shown in Italy and Germany, for it shows the Negro as Fascist States desire him - savage and childish." 1938

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