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Africa in Flames [DVD] [1930]

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Filmed entirely on location in the Sudan, Stampede details a migratory expedition embarked upon by the Habbania Tribe. For the most part uneventful (albeit brilliantly photographed) the migration is "pepped up" for the benefit of the cameras by scenes of a desert fire, a lion attack, a ritualistic tribal dance, and other such esoterica. By way of a story, Sheikh Asgar (Sheikh Fadi) rescues a young boy from the jaws of the lion that has just devoured the boy's mother. Eventually, the kid grows up to be the hero of the film. Filmed under extremely difficult conditions -- not least of which was the fact that the Habbanias were convinced that the filmmakers intended to sell them into slavery "just like the Turks" -- Stampede was the brainchild of Major Court Treatt, a member of the original British Expeditionary Force of 1914, and his wife Stella; it was an outgrowth of the Treatt's earlier, shorter documentary, Cape to Cairo, and was directed in collaboration with its photographer, Mrs. Treatt's brother Errol Hinds. Typically, the film was sold in America with an "exploitation" angle, concentrating on the bare-breasted shots of the heroine (Fatma); be that as it may, the film was a huge worldwide success. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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