I find that there are too many American documentaries and not enough authentic African documentaries. But sometimes you have to look for what you want to find and that is exactly what I did. A documentary is meant to leave you smarter, by the time you finish watching whatever you’re watching you should be able to give a whole history class. I personally prefer Netflix documentaries because they are not only educational but they are interesting. Here are African documentaries you should watch.
1. The Pearl Of Africa.
This documentary is about a transgender woman in Uganda. It shows her struggles as she tries to seek gender identity in her home country. On the film’s website, it’s described as “an intimate story of resilience, courage, acceptance and self-determination told in an intimate, poetic way with a hope to make people more aware of the commonalities behind our humanity rather than the peculiarities of our multiple identities.”
It is definitely the perfect time to be watching a documentary about Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe’s political journey is told by two bureaucrats who were forced to work together in order to draft the country’s first constitution. It shows the challenges the had to overcome especially after Robert Mugabe’s controversial 2008 presidential election win.
This documentary is about Ousmane Sembene who is also known as “The Father of African Cinema”. It was directed by his long time friend Samba Gadjigo with Jackson Silverman. It is interesting because Ousmane was also fifth grade dropout but he still managed to be one of the most influential people in the film industry.
4. Elephants dream.
Of course in every great documentary list a story about the DRC is always there. Almost every other Congolese documentary is about their gold and diamonds, but this one focuses on some of the country’s service men and women. It is a different perspective given to us other than the violent Congo we always hear about.
5. The square.
Ever wondered what led to the overthrow of Egyptian military leader Hosni Mubarak? Well, this is what The Square is all about, the story is retold by several young revolutionaries and how Mohammed Morsi finally became president.
6. Mandela, My Dad and Me.
If you’re an Idris Elba fan then this is the documentary for me. Apart from the fact the he is a great actor the plot of the story is also remarkable. It follows the Ghanaian-Sierra Leonean actor on the path to self-discovery through the making of his album Mi Mandela in Mali and South Africa.
7. God Grew Tired of Us.
This an emotional documentary about the lives of Sudanese boys who fled the wars in Sudan. We are shown the challenges they face from immigration, unemployment, bigotry and their new lives in New York.