Menu Home Search

10 Inspiring Africa Movies to Watch

April 8th, 2020, by Claudia Santino

We’re a waterhole is half full kind of crowd here at African Travel, Inc. which means we’re always looking for the silver lining during rough times.  Just because we’re not traveling doesn’t mean we can’t learn and connect to the places we love and one way for us to do this is through movies.  We’ve put together a list of what we’re watching now.  Some are old favorites, some are documentaries, some will spur you into action.  Some will make you cry, and some will make you laugh.  Many will make you want to go to Africa as soon as possible.  Until then, get the popcorn ready.

Born Free
When most people think of visiting Africa, they think of wildlife.  For a certain generation, Born Free was the film that sparked a desire to see Africa and a movement towards animal rights.  This classic, released in 1966 and based on the nonfiction book, it tells the story of Elsa, an orphaned lion cub in Kenya and of George and Joy Adamson, the couple who forged an emotional bond with her.  You can’t help but for fall for Elsa, whose story ignited a movement around the way we perceive relationships between humans and animals and whose tale pushed the door open wide towards animal conservation.

Out of Africa
Another classic that fired people up to explore Kenya, Out of Africa is the story of Danish author Karen Blixen and her passionate love affair with a big game hunter.  Set during colonial time in colonial British East Africa, it doesn’t always show Blixen at her best, but the cinematography will satisfy the desire to escape into the wilds of a place most people only dream about.  

Queen of Katwe
If you like a defying all odds kind of story, you’ll love Queen of Katwe. It’s the inspirational real-life story of Phiona Mutesi, a girl growing up in the slums of Uganda who helps her mother sell food in the market and care for her baby brother.  When she meets Robert Katende, a coach who teaches children to play chess, Phiona goes on to become one of the country’s best female chess champions.  The hardship she and her family face offer hefty dose of reality, but her success will win you over.

Searching for Sugarman
The power of oral storytelling is revealed in the following the singer Rodriguez generated amongst fans who passed his music along by word of mouth.  Searching for Sugarman is the surprise hit documentary about South Africa’s greatest ‘70s rock icon who never was.  An American folk singer whose bootleg recording made it to a nation struggling through a dark period, Rodriguez’s song “I Wonder” became an anti-apartheid anthem.  The documentary follows two South Africans who came of age listening to him and their journey to find the singer whose sound captured a nation and who became a mythical legend because, despite his popularity, no one had ever seen him perform.  Chase the myth with them, by end you just might become a fan, too.

Virunga
This Academy Award Oscar nominated film is the true story of the rangers risking their lives to save Africa's most precious national park and its endangered gorillas from war and damaging oil exploration activity within the UNESCO World Heritage site.  Virunga spotlights the brave people who have dedicated their lives to build a better future for themselves and the animals they protect in Virunga National Park, one of the most bio-diverse places on Earth.  If you’ve ever seen a mountain gorilla, or have a desire to see one, this film is a must.  It will restore your faith in humanity, it will break your heart, but it may also spur you to action.

BBC Planet Earth:  Africa
We’ll be honest, we’d be happy to watch a continuous loop of BBC’s Planet Earth Africa on Netflix.  So, sit back and relax as the amazing cinematography and narration carries you away on a journey through five regions of this stunning and diverse continent.  From extraordinary wildlife to unexplored rainforests and mountain ranges, the wow factor doesn’t get much better than this armchair adventure!

The First Grader
Another film based on a true story, The First Grader is about a Kenyan farmer and former Mau Mau tribesman Kimani Maruge who enrolled in elementary school at the age of 84 when the country introduced universal education in 2003.  Despite opposition to admitting him into a classroom of six-year-olds, his determination finds him an ally in one teacher.  It’s the story about the power of education, perseverance and the will to learn no matter one’s age.  We hope this hero’s journey inspires you.

The Ivory Game
Another Netflix original series, The Ivory Game is about the team of front-line rangers and undercover operatives who embark on dangerous missions to expose and disrupt the dark world of ivory trafficking.  From fighting poachers in Africa to exposing illegal ivory shops in China, the team risks their lives to save our elephants from those in pursuit of “white gold.”  If you support wildlife conservation, it will inspire you into action.

Our Planet
It would be wrong of us to tell you to focus on just one episode of Our Planet, but we are partial to the ones that shine a light on Africa and features the wild dogs of the Serengeti.  The wonderous beauty of our planet is revealed in breathtaking cinematography and guided by Sir David Attenborough who explains how we can take charge of our future from the climate change that impacts all living creatures.  

Black Panther
We couldn’t help ourselves with this one!  Whether you’re seeing it for the first time or enjoying it the second, third for fourth time around, Black Panther is just what we need right now.  This Marvel classic tells the story of T’Challa, who returns to his family’s kingdom home of fictional Wakanda, an African nation under threat from a rival warlord.  In our hero’s battle against evil and his fight to reclaim his throne, this action movie challenges us to think about class structure, racism and our humanity and it also highlights African culture and traditions.  By the end of the film you’ll swear Wakanda is a real place and that’s a good thing.  Wakanda Forever!

 

© 2020 African Travel,Inc. All Rights Reserved. Use of this website constitutes acceptance of African Travel’s Privacy Policy. CST #2071444-20