Come Back, Africa

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Apartheid had many enemies. One of them was Lionel Rogosin. Determined to bring the oppression of South African Apartheid to light, Rogosin set out to film a musical in 1959. Well, actually, we should say, pretended to film one. A World War II naval veteran, Rogosin filmed Come Back, Africa, an unforgiving look at the harsh conditions suffered under the then-active Afrikaan regime, while telling authorities he was making a musical. Rogosin had to go about the project with extreme care, weaving an intricate set of lies and half-truths to gain admittance to restricted areas, so that his real intentions to expose Apartheid atrocities wouldn’t be discovered. He developed his plot based on composite experiences of the people he interviewed. The film follows a Zulu family forced from their land by famine into the maze of rules, written and unwritten, that made earning a living in South Africa almost impossible. Violence and danger wait at every turn, with little hope of survival. The film is a brave endeavor, one of the first ever shot under a hostile regime, and it remains a timeless look at the effects of tyranny. It screens 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 5 p.m. Sunday. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet. For information, call 713‑639‑7515 or visit www.mfah.org. $6 to $7.
Sat., March 3, 7 p.m.; Sun., March 4, 7 p.m.; Fri., March 9, 5 p.m., 2012
 
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