AFRICA (1920S)

This film is held by the BFI (ID: 530912).


Travelogue. Scenes of African life. Probably offcuts and clips from different films.

No main title. Street scenes in a North African/Arab town; narrow streets, only pedestrians present, shop fronts onto street, Arab dress and Muslim women (71). A European is carried in a hammock through the bush by two Africans, porters follow (85). An African chief is carried on a chair by six Africans along a bush track watched by a small group of Africans (97). A European is carried on a similar conveyance (109). LS of fort (?) ruins on a large mound (129). African (possibly Masai) herding cattle and two donkeys (in hilly scrubland) (152). An entrance to an African hut, possibly cut into an embankment, rectangular huts of a village can be seen in the background - no villagers are seen (168).

"The natives here are in an almost primitive state, but they have obtained an artistic effect in the building of their village" (169). An African woman stands between huts in a village. The walls of the huts are woven with different coloured grasses creating patterns. The woman walks away from the camera (197). CU faces of young African men wearing strings of beads around their necks and large earplugs; some have decorative scarring around their nipples (225).

HAS pan of town; view down a high street - some cars and Africans, pan right to other buildings and streets. Sign reads 'Austins Auctions'. Camera finally ends on another high street (301); ground level street scenes of large public three-storey building with clock tower, probably part of the same town and the place the HAS shot was filmed (321). Line of Arab/African children standing in front of a shop (335). Ground view of high street last seen at end of shot 225-301ft showing a line of shops (355).

Traditional dances: men and women hug each other in a long line and gently bounce up and down. Each man hugs two women. The men raise their hands and clap to the music (374). A single man dances with outstreched arms in a snake-like manner. He is surrounded by a large circle of men adopting a similar pose but with downcast heads who gentley bounce. Two other men, decorated with feathers, perform the dance inthe ame area (399). All the people dance in a large group, hugging each other and bouncing. The women have shaved heads and large looped ear lobes. The men tend to be very tall and have rows of metal bangles on their arms (463). Same dance to 374-399ft (484). A group of women with large netal neckrings around their necks and long flowing rows perform a dance in which they bob up and down allowing the neck rings to move up and down like springs. They are led by a singing man (540). Back view of group who are watched by three European men seated under a tent canopy (548). Front view of the dance; the line of women move off slowly forming a circle (627).

TS from a boat along the Suez Canal (?); passing a large war memorial (?) and the bank of the canal with large houses (683); fade to wider stretch of canal in flat desert landscape (755).

A group of African men (possibly Kikuyu) with large curved shields and very long spears, some wear feather headdresses (772). They raise their shields and huddle together in a group (798). A group of men and women (probably of the same people) perform a bobbing dance (815). Women with large neck rings and ear lobes (835). Young girls dancing (848). The men with the large shields stand about; one or two perform a jumping dance (898ft).



  • AFRICA (1920S) (Archive)

Technical Data

Film Gauge (Format):
35mm Film
897 ft

Production Credits

Production Countries:
Great Britain