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Red Africa (12A*) [UK Cinema Premiere] + ScreenTalk with Professor Jeremy Hicks and Dr Awino Okech

New East Cinema

A girl ties a red scarf around a man's neck in a still from Red Africa

Alexander Markov’s documentary on the history of the influence exerted by the USSR over across Africa between 1960 -1990, working from extraordinary archival footage filmed by Soviet operators.

In the 1960s, when many African nations were breaking away from Western colonialism, the USSR employed Soviet propaganda to exert influence on the continent.

Using found footage filmed by Soviet operators between 1960 and 1990, Alexander Markov’s extraordinary documentary follows this process. Moving through the subtly assembled archive, the film slowly reveals the face of colonialism masqueraded as comradery. As the recently liberated nations (and those still fighting for their freedom are promised), their new friend’s real motifs are revealed and ships with raw materials are seen departing for Moscow.

Vladimir Lenin proclaimed cinema ‘the most important of all arts’ for its ability to speak to the masses. Markov’s documentary demonstrates that film remained central to Soviet myth-making until the very end of the USSR.

Tagged with: Cinema New East Cinema

Russia, Portugal 2022 dir Alexander Markov 65 mins

Jeremy Hicks is Professor of Russian Culture and Film at Queen Mary University of London where he teaches courses on Russian film history and literature.

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