War Witch: More Africans Shooting Machine Guns
Recall these lines, which are spoken by four young Africans in the video "African Men, Hollywood Stereotypes": "[Africans love to shoot machine guns.] We shoot our machine guns from trucks. We shoot our machine guns from boats. When we run out of bullets, we shoot rocket launchers... We hate smiling; smiling is stupid. And one thing is for sure: A day without war is a day not worth living." Those who are already convinced that black Africans are a violent race of humans will not be surprised by what they see in War Witch, a film that Canada submitted for the Academy Award's best foreign language film in 2013. According to CBC News, the film also "swept away nearly all competition at the inaugural Canadian Screen Awards." Why? Because it is brilliantly edited, scored, and photographed—and it is exactly the kind of film about Africa that makes the most sense to Westerners.
War Witch has violent child soldiers who murder their parents, take drugs, and live in the jungle. It has machetes—a film about Africa would be incomplete without human-chopping machetes. There is the tropic-addled general who believes a young girl has magical powers that can protect him from government troops (Africans are so superstitious). There is even a scene of a witch doctor throwing bones on the ground and barking crazy things out of his baboon-sized mouth. In another scene, the witch doctor blesses machine guns. Yes, this film has lots and lots of Africans shooting machine guns: shooting them from trucks, shooting them from behind rocks, shooting them into the sky, shooting them for any fucking reason. A fly lands on your nose? Shoot the machine gun.
Despite all of this, the film is brilliantly executed. The director, Kim Nguyen, is clearly a talented filmmaker, but enough (seriously, enough!) of these kinds of films. Africa has so many other stories to tell.