Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.
United Kingdom, 1950. British Information Service, Central Office of Information, Colonial Office, Crown Film Unit. Screenplay by Montagu Slater. Cinematography by Fred Gamage. Produced by Max Anderson. Music by William Alwyn. Film Editing by Terry Trench. Academy Awards 1949.
Short but effective documentary about a Nigerian village at a crossroads between modernity and tradition. Two Nigerian doctors want to open a maternity clinic in order to get their people up to date with the times, which is approved by the local British officer but disapproved of by village elders who emphasize the old ways as best. As the movie was made in 1950, its view of colonial power is fully uncomplicated, and we see that the term “documentary” has evolved over time given that most of the action is so obviously scripted and staged, but the glimpse into Africa in the earlier part of the century is quite interesting and the images are beautiful.