Tuesday, February 11, 2014

VIDEO: 'The Empire in Africa' a Film by Philippe Diaz


The Empire in Africa bravely documents the violence, civil unrest and extreme poverty in Sierra Leone and, most importantly, traces its causes. The main characters in the civil war include the local rebels who formed the RUF (Revolutionary United Front) and the peacekeeping government forces financed by the United Nations. To call these forces “peacekeeping” is an oxymoron given how often they tortured and killed thousandsof innocent people in Sierra Leone. Meanwhile, the media mainly focused its attention on the rebels who fought back and also killed people. Through compelling interviews, director Philippe Diaz blames the international community which only fueled these atrocities—donating food and water did not help stop the violence. Diaz also includes some startling, powerful images showing severely malnourished children and adults with severed hands and even entire arms. He wisely interviews UN officials to hear their side of the story. In the second half of the film, explicitly gruesome yet utterly necessary footage of “peacekeepers” torturing victims makes you feel quite angry against the corrupt government which was supposed to keep the peace with Sierra Leone, but clearly failed to do so.

Release Date: December 8th, 2006

BUY: The Empire in Africa (DVD)

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