Milestone Films

Come Back, Africa / Black Roots

$27.96 $34.95

Lionel Rogosin’s 1959 powerful classic Come Back, Africa is one of the bravest and best of all political films. After witnessing firsthand the terrors of fascism as a soldier in World War II, Lionel Rogosin vowed to fight against it wherever and whenever he saw it reemerging. In an effort to expose “what people try to avoid seeing,” Rogosin travelled to South Africa and secretly filmed Come Back, Africa, which revealed the cruelty and injustice suffered by black and colored peoples under apartheid.

Before beginning the production of Come Back, Africa, Rogosin spent several months touring Africa, becoming accustomed to the way of life in South Africa and acquiring a sense of the apartheid government’s sensitivity to anti-government “conspiracies” — such as the very film he wished to create.

Much of Come Back, Africa was filmed in Sophiatown, a ghetto reserved for blacks and a vibrant center of music, art, literature and politics that has since become legendary. Residents included Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, Father Trevor Huddleston, Hugh Masekela and three of the film’s main contributors – author/journalists Bloke Modisane and Can Themba and the already celebrated singer, Miriam Makeba. But even as they filmed, Sophiatown was already in the process of being demolished and its residents forcibly removed. Shortly after production ended, Sophiatown was emptied, razed and rebuilt as a whites-only suburb called Triumf. (Makeba, later known world-wide as “Mamma Africa,” helped popularize “Meadowlands,” a song against the forced removals, and in 1959 recorded “Sophiatown is Gone.”)

In making Come Back, Africa, Rogosin’s goal was to reveal the harsh injustice of apartheid. In order to make a film that honestly and accurately portrayed the life of people in Sophiatown (as he did with his first film, On the Bowery), the filmmaker spent almost a year meeting with activists and writers, both black and white. Rogosin cast the film before writing the screenplay, basing the story on the experiences of the cast and crew. The final script was little more than a sketch of plot points; the actors created their own dialogue in order to create an authentic representation of their lives.

Rogosin took the fight for equality to his homeland with his astonishing fourth feature Black Roots. The extraordinary cast, including Reverend Frederick Douglass Kirkpatrick, attorney and feminist activist Florynce "Flo" Kennedy, musicians Jim Collier, Wende Smith, Larry Johnson and Reverend Gary Davis tell stories of heartbreak and despair while their songs blow the roof off the rafters. A deeply humanist film, Black Roots combines tales of oppression with hauntingly beautiful images of the faces of black men, women and children.

READ MORE ABOUT

COME BACK, AFRICA HERE

BLACK ROOTS HERE.

The home DVD and Blu-Ray is a two-disc REGION-FREE boxed set that features
Disc one
Come Back, Africa South Africa. 1959, 86 minutes. Mono sound. Aspect ratio 4:3. Restoration Cineteca
del Comune di Bologna. From the 2K Restoration. SDH subtitles.
A Martin Scorsese Introduction. 2 minutes.
An American in Sophiatown The making of Come Back, Africa. Directed by Michael Rogosin &
Lloyd Ross. 64 minutes.
Lionel Rogosin talks about Come Back, Africa. Radio Interview, 1978, 19 minutes.
Come Back, Africa Theatrical Trailer. 2 minutes.

Disc two
Black Roots United States. 1970, 63 minutes. Mono Sound. Aspect ratio: 4:3. SDH subtitles.
Bitter Sweet Stories Directed by Michael Rogosin. 27 minutes. Color/B&W. Documentary on the making
of Black Roots.
Have You Seen Drum Recently? Directed by Jürgen Schadeberg. 1989, 74 minutes.

 

COME BACK, AFRICA is available for institutional video and streaming. Scroll down on the format button!

Also, 35mm prints for Theatrical and Nontheatrical rental!

 


 An Explanation of Home, Classroom, and Public Performance Rights

Individuals and non-profit institutions purchasing at the DVD, DVD-R, or Blu-ray rate — or streaming at published rental and sales prices — are authorized to use the film only for private home screening and legitimate classroom showing (a regularly scheduled class with an instructor present), per the United States Copyright Law. You can learn more about the distinction between classroom and public performance screenings here.

 

US and Canadian nonprofit educational institutions that wish to show a film publicly outside of a scheduled class need to purchase DVDs, DVD-Rs, and Blu-rays at the institutional rate — which grants 3-year in-house streaming rights and an on-site public performance license. This in-house streaming license is for a term of three years from the date of purchase and grants the purchasing institution the right to stream over a single secure server with a password-protected connection. Streaming access must be strictly limited to currently enrolled students, faculty, and staff. Streaming rights extensions can be negotiated with Milestone after the initial three-year term has lapsed. Milestone retains the right to terminate this agreement at any time. No broadcast, Internet or other rights are granted or implied.These rights are for on-site use only per the license agreement. For more information on 

Similarly, US and Canadian nonprofit educational institutions that wish to show a film publicly outside of a scheduled class via Milestone’s streaming site must contact Milestone to arrange a separate public performance license. For more information, please email amy@milestonefilms.com. 

US and Canadian nonprofit educational institutions that wish to screen a DVD, DVD-R, or Blu-ray they already own in an open showing must purchase a public performance license. For more information, please email amy@milestonefilms.com. 

The purchase of DVDs, DVD-Rs, and Blu-rays at the institutional rate by anyone outside of a North American non-profit educational institution does not grant rights for public performance or streaming.

Any continuous or loop screenings as part of a museum exhibition must also be licensed separately. Inquiries must be negotiated directly with Milestone by emailing amy@milestonefilms.com

Information for Exhibitors Screening DCPs and Film Prints

All bookings must be made by phone or email correspondence with Amy Heller (201.767.3117 or amy@milestonefilms.com) to negotiate terms and insure a screening copy is available. An order is only finalized when Milestone sends a written confirmation.

DCPs are shipped insured for their cost via Federal Express or UPS and must be returned the same way or by an equivalent method. Shipping and handling charges for outgoing DCPs appear on your invoice. The immediate return or transshipment (as directed) of all DCPs is your responsibility.

DCPs should be returned to:

Milestone Film & Video
38 George Street
Harrington Park, New Jersey 07640-0128
United States 

35mm and 16mm prints are shipped insured for their cost via Federal Express or UPS and must be returned the same way or by an equivalent method. Please do not ship prints back via US Mail. Exhibitor pays to ship both ways. Shipping and handling charges for outgoing prints appear on your invoice. The immediate return of all prints is your responsibility.

Prints should be returned insured for $1,000 to:

Iron Mountain
Attn: Milestone Account
235 Main Street
Little Falls, NJ 07424
201.944.3700

For public screenings, advertising materials can be requested by contacting amy@milestonefilms.com

Milestone is the exclusive licensor for all the titles in this catalog, all of which are available here in their complete versions.

 

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