The Empire in Africa Image

Mixed or average reviews - based on 6 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: The rebels who started the civil war in Sierra Leone 15 years ago wanted only one thing: to reclaim the richness of the country from foreign corporations in order to end the exploitation of its people. In response, the international community decided to wage a war on this country, with bombs, executions, torture, rigged elections and manipulation of the international media. This created one of the worst humanitarian disasters of the 20th century. (Cinema Libre Studio) Expand
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  1. 63
    Philippe Diaz's controversial documentary about the legacy of the brutal 1991-2002 civil war in Sierra Leone -- widely considered the poorest country in the world, despite its rich mineral resources -- suggests that the rebel faction RUF (Revolutionary United Front of Sierra Leone) was not alone in terrorizing civilians and committing atrocities, most famously the amputation of limbs with machetes.
  2. Reviewed by: Joe Leydon
    Infused with a strong sense of moral outrage, The Empire in Africa provides more heat than light while attempting to explain the motives and methods of combatants who waged the 1991-2002 civil war in Sierra Leone.
  3. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    Cannily timed by lefty distributor Cinema Libre Studio to coincide with the release of Edward Zwick's Blood Diamond, Philippe Diaz's documentary claims to present Sierra Leone's civil war in a radically different light. More accurately, it shifts the emphasis and fills out the picture.
  4. A forest of talking heads and pointing fingers, The Empire in Africa is a noble but failed attempt to explicate the tragedy of the 11-year civil war in Sierra Leone.
  5. Reviewed by: Sam Adams
    That "Empire" lacks clear-cut heroes and villains is not necessarily a fault, but the movie's muddle too often comes across as an attempt to avoid assigning responsibility where it belongs.
  6. While The Empire in Africa offers a litany of talking heads and shockingly violent images in its exploration of the conflict, it is more confusing and disturbing than enlightening.
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