15 best African movies you must watch


The best African movies are proof that the continent of Africa is rich with diversity especially in terms of culture. This rich diversity brings along various aspects that characterise African movies from different parts of the continent. The African film scene is a great homage to a very remarkable collection of top-rated movies. These movies range from twisted tearjerkers, classic comedies to quite chilling actions of crime drama. Africa is not shortchanged when it comes to a fantastic cinema filled incredible talents. Without a single doubt, the African movies listed below are a must watch.

1. Tsotsi
Gavin Hood directs the crime and drama of a series of violence that takes place in Johannesburg for a period of six days involving a very young leader of a bunch of criminals. Based in the city of Johannesburg, Tsotsi is a youngster who has had a tough upbringing that has made him heartless and with no feeling for others whatsoever. After Tsotsi’s involvement in a sequence of gang smashes, he hijacks a car. As the drives, he discovers that the backseat of the car has a young toddler. Unexpected of him, he takes the small baby to the slums where he lives. After this incidence, a six-day series of occurrences take place thus bringing him transformations that he had previously not seen coming.

2. The Last King Of Scotland (2006)
Nicholas Garrigan is a young, educated and talented doctor from Scotland who goes to the country of Uganda on a mission to assist the rural people of that country concerning medical health. Immediately upon arrival, the doctor meets with Idi Amin, the president of Uganda who makes the promise of a golden age to the nation of Africa. As he offers his assistance in the rural hospital, Amin promises Garrigan, a high-ranking position in the Ugandan department of national health in addition to being Amin’s closest consultant. However, Garrigan notices that Amin’s progressively unpredictable conduct that could lead to a hazardously bloody shambles in the country. The outrageous leader, Amin is reluctant to let Garrigan go thus leaving Garrigan no choice but to make one critical resolution that can possibly mean death in case the president discovers.

3. The First Grader (2010)
The combination of drama, biography, and romance brings out the story of an ex-Mau Mau fighter and a Kenyan village aged 84 years. The director of the movie Justin Chadwick directs the film that is set up in one mountain settlement in Kenya. The story is under the theme that dictates that it’s not too late for anyone to dream and accomplish his or her dream. The old veteran is fully determined to take up the last and only chance he has to join a school and learn the art of reading and writing. For this reason, he joins the 6 years old kids in learning. With the help of his teacher, he is able to overcome the severe struggle thus attaining profound victory. The breakthrough also enables him to get over the afflictions he faced during the colonial period.

4. Beasts Of No Nation (2015)
Beasts of No Nation, is a combination of both war and drama in narrating the experiences Agu faces in one unnamed country in Africa. Agu is a young boy who is obligated to be part of a group of defence forces during the civil war. During the war, the young boy is afraid of both the military commander and the other members of the group around him. The war has heartlessly crushed his fledging childhood which puts him in a dilemma of conflicting repulsion versus captivation. In the midst of this horrific experience, the director paints out Agu as a child soldier who has resolved to avoid shying away from the task that lies ahead of him.

5. Hotel Rwanda
Hotel Rwanda is set up during the war between the Hutu militia and the Tutsi that took place in Rwanda in the year 1994. One Hutu by the name Paul is married to Tatiana who is a Tutsi. Paul works at a four-star hotel as a manager. Although the hotel is predominantly known for hosting the whites, Paul is respected by all regardless. Unexpectedly, the calmness maintained by the two tribes, Hutu and Tutsi, takes a dark turn. Paul, the hotel manager houses more than one thousand refugees from the Tutsi tribe during the war with the Hutu. When Rwanda seems to have closed its eyes on the people, Paul widely opens his arms in an attempt to save as many people as he could by offering them refuge.

6. Gangster’s Paradise: Jerusalema (2008)
The director of the movie Ralph Ziman narrates the transitioning of Lucky Kunene from unpretentious acts of crime, snatches, and blows to more hostile forms of offences such as car robbery and armed theft. Lucky comes to the realisation that his life needs an upgrade such as moving away from the slums where he lives into possessing a dream house by the seaside. For him to achieve all this, he lays down a plan of undertaking one intricate and fierce offence. The plan is to hijack high-end buildings in Johannesburg from their landlords. Lucky wins the tenants favour thus holding their rent hostage from the landlords. The mannerism in which Lucky attain real estate draws the attention of the cops who are ready to use brutal force to bring him down. Apart from the trouble he has with the law enforcers, Lucky is also warring with a local drug lord. He is forced to raise his game a notch higher to prevent his life from crumbling down.

7. Yesterday (2004)
Yesterday is a drama film directed by Darrell Roodt. The movie is a narration of a certain woman’s journey by the name Yesterday, hence the name of the movie, in a Zulu village in Africa. Yesterday, is a jovial mother to an intrusive five-year-old girl, Beauty. The woman suffers from a persistent cough which is quite alarming thus making her seek a diagnosis from the regional clinic’s doctor. She discovers that she has contracted the deadly HIV. Immediately, she relocates to her husband’s home in Johannesburg where he works as a miner. Although the husband is in denial of the results, the wife is resolute to deal with the consequences as they are. Yesterday’s sole motivation to continue living even with the bad news is to ensure that she lives long enough to be able to see her daughter attend school the next year.

8. Searching For Sugar Man (2012)
In the movie, Searching for Sugar Man, the director Malik Bendjelloul tells the story of two individuals from South Africa who have planned a mission to find out what happened to Sixto Rodriguez, a musical rock n roller hero from the 70s. Rodriguez was a Detroit singer although his musical career was short-lived, managing to produce albums that never actually reached the market. Even after his death, Rodriguez remained the icon of pop music as well as a major inspiration to many. Two of his die-hard fans set out on a mission to unearth the truth behind the death of their hero. The mission makes them discover a heartening story with far much more details than they had imagined.

9. Invictus (2009)
Invictus is a movie based on the true story of Nelson Mandela. The combination of biography, history, and drama recounts how the renowned Nelson Mandela joins hands with the team leader of South Africa’s team of a rugby player in the mission to bring the union in the country. In the wake of apartheid, President Nelson Mandela who is newly elected is aware of the racial and economic divisions existing in his country. The president strongly believes that it is only through the use of the worldwide language of sports that unification can be achieved. This strong conviction and the merger with the captain make them enter into the historic run to the championship match of the Rugby World Cup that took place in 1995

10. Beyond The Gates (2005)
This movie Beyond the Gates is an account of Africans dimmest jiffy in Rwanda in the year 1994. The movie is about Rwandan genocide vilest enemy of humanity where a human count of over 800,000 people was heartlessly executed.

This was instigated after Hutu president’s aeroplane was shot down. The Tutsi’s were taken over for slaughter by the Hutu militias. In the movie 2500 Rwandese refugees are lodged in the Ecole Technique Officielle by Christopher, a Catholic priest. Joe Connor, the idealistic teacher, gets stranded in Kigali during the year of genocide under the siege by Hutu militia and under the protection of the Belgian U.N force. They are inhumanly murdered by the extremist militia.

By Ryan Mutuku for TUKO


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World Cinema Reports' Editors

Cinema Without Borders' reporters from around the globe search and find international cinema content for our audience. when an outside source is used, we provide you with a link to the original source at the end of the article

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