Naked Africa

1664. NAKED AFRICA (1957-USA). COLOR. Directed and photographed by RAY PHOENIX. Narrated by QUENTIN REYNOLDS. This ethnographic documentary delivers what its title promises it’s a no-holds- barred survey of the manners and mores of “contemporary” Africans. Reynolds, a noted journalist, observes that parts of the continent have been westernized. For example, there is the coastal port of Durban, settled by elephant hunters in 1824, where descendants of those settlers rule and the “native black man seems out of place.” Mostly, however, there are scenes of rural Africa, where the while man has barely tread. A few, highlights: bare-breasted native girls perform the “python dance,” a rite that celebrates their arrival and womanhood; lions and lionesses stalk and kill zebras and antelopes, which for them are nothing more thar succulent meals; and 18-year-old tribal youths undergo a ritual of manhood. First, they are communally circumcised; at the conclusion of their lengthy initiations, they are bathed in oiI and grease. More than 30 years after this film was photographed. South Africa has completely changed once again. 70 minutes. Documentary