Africa Speaks/Beyond Bengal [DVD]

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Africa Speaks
Beyond Bengal
Filmed silent, then decked out with a musical score and narration, Beyond Bengal is an okay imitation of the "wild animal" biographies popularized by Frank Buck and Clyde Beatty. Filmed in the jungles of the Mayan Peninsula, the story -- a very thin one -- concerns the efforts by a Native tribe to round up various wildlife for food, clothing and their own protection. "Highlights" include a python smothering a monkey and an alligator eating a bear cub, while the narrator pontificates on "survival of the fittest." Some of the close-ups were filmed on a Florida game preserve, with the animals looking a bit too content and well-fed to be regarded as dangerous. Producer Harry Schenck serves as both narrator and "star" in the dramatized sequences. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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