Hot Continent: 20 best films about Africa

You won’t walk much on this mainland – and it’s not just about lions, crocodiles, scorpions. There are 54 countries in Africa, and it is no coincidence that the Kalashnikov assault rifle flaunts on the coat of arms of two of them – bloody conflicts flare up at different points, like forest fires. Civil wars, slavery, genocide, ruthless militants and zombified child soldiers – this is the other side of an exotic continent with amazing wildlife and original culture. For those who want to be transported under the scorching sun and feel the life of the continent, we have compiled a list of the best films about Africa.

Tourist (2021)

The brutal Russian action movie is based on a real event – an attempt by armed bandits to disrupt the elections and seize power in the Central African Republic. Even before the start of the military conflict, an instructor Grigory Dmitriev arrives in the country to train local soldiers. However, the situation is quickly heating up, and soon Grisha, in the company of other instructors, will have to take part in hostilities and repel gangster groups preparing a coup d’état.

What do you think, is it worth filming a sequel, and what should be in it?

Genre:
Action

Actors:
Alexey Shevchenkov, Evgeny Terskikh, Alexander Baranovsky …

Country:
Russia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.6

Age restrictions:
18+


Little Country (2020)

This new film about Africa in the genre of drama is an adaptation of the semi-biographical book by Gael Fayet. Gabriel is a boy born to a Frenchman and an African woman. He lives a carefree childhood until civil unrest in Rwanda reaches their small town. The film takes place in the 1990s – the difficult story of growing up and becoming a personality of Gabi will be at the height of the bloodshed between the Tutsi and Hutu ethnic groups.

Original title:
Petit pays

Genre:
Drama

Actors:
Jean-Paul Rouve, Isabelle Cabano, Djibril Vankoppenoll …

Country:
France, Belgium

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.1, IMDb – 6.6

Age restrictions:
16+


The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (2019)

The highly rated dramatic film is based on the novel of the same name by William Kamkwumba. The action takes the viewer to Malawi. Here in the countryside lives the boy Kamkwamba. His community is going through hard times – the drought does not give a chance to grow crops. Wanting to save the locals from starvation, a smart teenager develops a plan to build a windmill and a water pump from an old bicycle and other improvised means.

Original title:
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

Genre:
Drama

Actors:
Chiwetel Ejiofor, Maxwell Simba, Felix Lemburo…

Country:
UK, Malawi

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.2, IMDb – 7.6


Mia and the white lion (2018)

From the first meeting of 10-year-old Mia and the white lion cub Charlie, a close emotional bond develops between the girl and the wild cub. Despite the prohibitions of her parents, Mia spends all her free time in the lion pen, playing with the predator like a tame kitten . However, years later, danger looms over Charlie’s life – he can become a victim of aviary hunting. To save her friend, the girl decides to run away. The heroes of a touching family film about animals and the exotic nature of Africa will go on an epic journey through the wild African desert in search of another land where Charlie can live in safety.

Original title:
Mia et le lion blanc

Genre:
Drama, adventure

Actors:
Dania De Villiers, Melanie Laurent, Langley Kirkwood …

Country:
France, Germany, South Africa

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.4, IMDb – 6.5

Age restrictions:
6+


Tarzan. Legend (2016)

A film about Africa, bringing together all genres, from action adventure to melodrama, is another adaptation of the novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs. The plot will tell about the fate of Tarzan after the wedding with Jane. Young people live in London, but a man who grew up in the jungle, like a magnet, is drawn to his native continent, where crocodiles , lions and gorillas have become his friends and helpers. And soon he will have such an opportunity. The greedy Belgian king wants to plunder the Congo, and Tarzan will have to deal with it.

Original title:
The Legend of Tarzan

Genre:
Fantasy, action, drama, romance, adventure

Actors:
Alexander Skarsgard, Margot Robbie, Samuel L. Jackson, Christoph Waltz …

Country:
UK, Canada, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.2, IMDb – 6.2

Age restrictions:
16+


Queen of Katwe (2016)

The inspirational feature film set in Africa is based on a true story and follows the fate of a girl who became the Ugandan chess champion . The famous logic game will be a real escape from poverty for a young Ugandan woman, Fiona Mutezi. And it all started with an old missionary game board, who opened the world of chess pieces to an illiterate girl and thus gave her a chance for a new life.

Original title:
Queen of Katwe

Genre:
Drama, Biography, Sports

Actors:
Madina Nalvanga, David Oyelowo, Lupita Nyong’o …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.3, IMDb – 7.4

Age Limits :
16+


Rootless Beasts (2015)

The plot of the authentic film, which received many awards and admiring reviews from the audience, tells the story of a boy who lost his family in a terrible African war. Agu was adopted by soldiers and accepted into a rebel group. Now a real warrior is being raised from him. Without embellishment or sentimentality, the film tells about the horrors of the civil war and how the use of children in military operations affects the lives of little boys in Africa.

Original title:
Beasts of No Nation

Genre:
Drama, military, history

Actors:
Abram Atta, Idris Elba, Emmanuel Affadzi…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.3, IMDb – 7.7

Age restrictions:
18+


Palm trees in the snow (2015)

The film, based on the best-selling book by Luz Gabas, tells the story of a love that has managed to go through time, betrayal, separation, cultural and racial prejudice . The viewer will meet the beautiful Clarence, who wants to clear up mysteries from her family’s past. After the death of her father, the girl goes to the island of Fernando Po to find out who is the mysterious woman to whom her father and uncle have been transferring money for many years. Thus begins the journey of the heroine of a popular foreign film about romantic feelings, adventures and historical events in Africa.

Original title:
Palmeras en la nieve

Genre:
Drama, melodrama

Actors:
Mario Casas, Adriana Ugarte, Macarena Garcia …

Country:
Spain

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.4, IMDb – 7.4

Age restrictions:
16+


Machine Gun Preacher (2011)

The hero of the crime biographical drama about violence and redemption is Sam Childers. A recent criminal finds a calling in life by rescuing orphaned children. When former biker gang member Sam visits Uganda and Sudan, the freshly minted missionary is shocked by the horrors faced by the underprivileged, especially children. Ignoring all warnings, the man establishes an orphanage in territory controlled by the resistance army. And he is ready to defend his wards by any means, including with a machine gun in his hands.

Original title:
Machine Gun Preacher

Genre:
Action, drama, crime, biography

Actors:
Gerard Butler, Michelle Monahan, Cathy Baker…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.9, IMDb – 6.8

Age restrictions:
18+


Big Adventures in Africa (2010)

The next in our top adventure film about traveling through Africa will introduce disadvantaged, but dream-inspired teenagers. Despite orphanhood, poverty, AIDS, sexual violence and war, they are driven by a common goal – to travel 3,000 miles to get to the World Cup in South Africa. In the journey through seven countries, no obstacles matter to them – the guys become a team and true friends.

Original title:
Africa United

Genre:
Drama, comedy, adventure

Actors:
Eriya Ndayambaje, Roger Nsengiyumva, Sanyu Joanita Kintu …

Country:
UK, South Africa, Rwanda

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.8, IMDb – 6.5

Age Limits :
12+


Johnny – Mad Dog (2008)

In the center of the plot of the film is a group of diverse underage boys from a detachment of militias, participants in the African military conflict. Led by 15-year-old Commander Johnny, who calls himself “Mad Dog”, they kill, rob and rape. For most of these boys, war is the only world they know. Their current mission is to capture the city and overthrow the government. Meanwhile, a teenage girl, Laokole, takes care of her younger brother and legless father. The meeting of two heroes will help change the views of one of them.

Original title:
Johnny Mad Dog

Genre:
Drama, military

Actors:
Christophe Mini, Daisy Victoria Vandi, Joseph Duo…

Country:
France, Belgium, Liberia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.5, IMDb – 6.8


Blood Diamond (2006)

Nominated for five Oscars, this action-packed blockbuster is definitely worth watching for fans of thrilling stories. The American film, filmed in Africa, will tell about the dexterous smuggler played by Leonardo DiCaprio. Adventurer Danny Archer is involved in the illegal mining and transportation of diamonds during the civil war in Sierra Leone. Fate brings him to a black fisherman looking for his son. By coincidence, Danny is forced to work with Solomon in a kind of safari, where the trophy will be a pink diamond of rare size.

Original title:
Blood Diamond

Genre:
Thriller, drama, adventure

Actors:
Leonardo DiCaprio, Djimon Hounsou, Jennifer Connelly …

Country:
USA, Germany

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.8, IMDb – 8.0

Age restrictions:
16+


The Last King of Scotland (2006)

A European film about survival in Africa is worth watching for anyone who appreciates cool biopics. The movie is based on Giles Foden’s novel about a Scottish doctor who comes to Uganda. Here, a foreigner will become the doctor of the country’s most brutal leader, known as the “Butcher of Uganda”. Through the eyes of a person close to the dictator, the viewer will get an idea of ​​the reign of Idi Amin, responsible for the deaths of about half a million people.

Original title:
The Last King of Scotland

Genre:
Thriller, drama, biography, history

Actors:
Forest Whitaker, James McAvoy, Kerry Washington …

Country:
UK, Germany

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.7, IMDb – 7.7

Age restrictions:
16+


Shooting Dogs (2005)

Hutu and Tutsi spoke the same language, lived in the same territory and had a common culture, until the first in 1994 took a machete and started killing. The massacre took on an unprecedented scale: the soldiers did not spare anyone who got in their way – a woman, a child or an old man. The Rwandan genocide is shown through the eyes of a volunteer teacher and a local pastor. Together they try to shelter as many people as possible on the school grounds in order to save them from inevitable and terrible death.

Original title:
Shooting Dogs

Genre:
Drama, military, history

Actors:
John Hurt, Hugh Dancy, Dominic Horwitz …

Country:
United Kingdom, Germany

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.8, IMDb – 7.7

Age restrictions:
12+


Thoughts on Freedom (2005)

One day in South Africa, a 12-year-old boy and his father find a small, defenseless cheetah kitten. The father and son decide to take the baby home to the farm, knowing full well that in the future he will have to be returned back to the wild. An interesting film about the savannah and Africa tells about the journey of a boy who must return an exotic pet, born to be free and fast as the wind, to his habitat.

Original title:
Duma

Genre:
Drama, adventure, family

Actors:
Alex Mikaeletos, Eamonn Walker, Hope Davis…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.8, IMDb – 7.2

Age limit:
0+


White Masai (2005)

Korola and her boyfriend are on holiday in Kenya. Toward the end of the holiday, the German couple meets Lemalian, a warrior from the local tribe. The aborigine strikes the tourist to the core with a stately physique, an unusual hairstyle and a picturesque costume. The queen immediately falls in love with him. The girl begins to search for the handsome Masai, and heads to his village, which is completely different from the world to which she is accustomed. With incredible courage and despite all the bureaucratic obstacles, the girl marries an African.

Original title:
Die Weisse Massai

Genre:
Drama, melodrama

Actors:
Nina Hoss, Jackie Ido, Katya Flint …

Country:
Germany

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.4, IMDb – 6.5


Sahara (2005)

Explorer Dirk Piet is obsessed with the legend of a lost ship of gold from the Civil War, hidden somewhere in Africa, according to his calculations. Finding a rare gold coin in a port city in southwestern Nigeria, he decides the treasure is close at hand. The search for lost valuables will intersect with a mysterious epidemic and a romantic story that adorned an adventure film about Africa with elements of a thriller and comedy.

Original title:
Sahara

Genre:
Action, thriller, comedy, adventure

Actors:
Matthew McConaughey, Penelope Cruz, Steve Zan…

Country:
UK, Spain, Germany, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.7, IMDb – 6.0

Age limit:
12+


Hotel Rwanda (2004)

The film is set during a violent struggle against the Hutu militia in Rwanda. At a time when the streets are littered with thousands of corpses, manager Paul tries to shelter more than a thousand Tutsi refugees in the walls of a local hotel. A heroic story based on real events tells about a man who cares. Risking his life and the life of his family, Paul at all costs intends to save people from inevitable death in a bloody massacre.

Original title:
Hotel Rwanda

Genre:
Drama, military, biography, history

Actors:
Don Cheadle, Sophie Okonedo, Nick Nolte, Joaquin Phoenix, Jean Reno …

Country:
UK, South Africa, Italy, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.8, IMDb – 7.1

Age restrictions:
16+


Tears of the Sun (2003)

The film tells about a unit of fur seals landed in Africa, where there is a civil war. Their goal is to evacuate four US citizens to safety. All Americans work in the same missionary hospital and have their own evacuation plans. The doctor refuses to leave the danger zone if the special team does not take out 70 more people with him.

Original title:
Tears of the Sun

Genre:
Action, thriller, drama, military

Actors:
Bruce Willis, Monica Bellucci, Cole Houser …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.9, IMDb – 6.6

Age restrictions:
16+


Ghost and Darkness (1996)

The protagonist of the film, John Patterson, is an ambitious builder from London. A man leaves his pregnant wife at home and travels to colonial Africa to build a bridge. However, the construction plan is hindered by cannibal lions devouring frightened workers. To fight the predators, the leadership hires the great white hunter Remington, with whom John will have to join forces. After all, every day the number of those killed is growing, and the work stands still.

Original title:
The Ghost and the Darkness

Genre:
Thriller, drama, adventure

Actors:
Michael Douglas, Val Kilmer, Tom Wilkinson…

Country:
Germany, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.5, IMDb – 6.8

Age restrictions:
16+


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Jared Lambert/ author of the article

I’ve been writing about movies, TV shows and anime for over 3 years, and you may have seen my reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.

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