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In Darkest Hollywood: Exploring the Jungles of Cinema's South Africa
by Peter Davis
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From the earliest days of cinema, the idea of South Africa - the land of gold, diamonds and Zulus - captured the imagination of film-makers. In Hollywood as much as in Johannesburg, cinema uncritically took over the image of South Africa created by the literature of imperialism. Whites occupied centre frame, with Africans depicted as adjuncts (the faithful servant) or the enemy ('the savage other'). This path-breaking study, based on years of original research, interviews with directors, scriptwriters, actors and historians, analyses and describes the development and history of films on South Africa. It encompasses the racist and the colonial, the subtle and the poignant, the commercial and the politically committed. Relating film-making to broader changes both in South African society and elsewhere, In Darkest Hollywood provides a comprehensive and profusely illustrated history and deconstruction of fiction cinema on South Africa.
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