Sellers’ account of Africans as mentally and physically inferior is racist to say the least.  His views about Africans not being able to think in abstract terms means that the whole time he was traveling through Nigeria he thought of himself as superior even when it came to the Nigerian aristocracy.  While the films were educational as well as entertaining I have mixed feelings about their importance as it relates to Nigerians.  On the one hand, I can see how the educational films would serve a useful purpose because they did provide teachers, clerks, and other educated people with useful information, I can also see why Nigerians in more rural areas might be offended by these films.  As one farmer said to someone who was showing a film about how to grow cocoa; he said he already knew how to grow cocoa, he had been growing them for years.  Not only did some of these films insult the intelligence of the Nigerians but the so called educational films that constantly showed a contrast between the living conditions of poor people and next the modernization of cities in Nigeria with concrete houses and water runninng from the tap must have been very insulting to the people viewing the films.  I mean the government wasn’t handing out subsides to rural people making it possible for them to live in homes made of concrete.  It was the cities that were being modernized not the rural areas.  Neither was the government giving away gas powered tractors to farmers so what could these rural farmers do but use a hand plow to cultivate the soil.  The fact that these films were shown in Europe only reinforced the stereotypical views that Europeans and Americans had about Africans–that they were backward and primitive.  Even the cowboy films must have depicted Native Americans in a stereotypical light.  I see the films as a blessing and a curse because the films enlightened the masses by revealing this new technology but the question is how do you modernize a developing country and still preserve old customs and tradtions?  One way is to ask the people viewing the films what they think about the films without assuming that the filmmaker and the British run government knows what is best for the people.  If you see Africans as human beings first then you eliminate the stereotypes.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s