As at 2019, Netflix was reported to have 46.55 million people as monthly active users, it was ranked as the second most used streaming platform in the world. This means that Netflix is actually doing a great job in connecting millions of people in the world to movies, series etc.
I decided to collate a list of movies about Africa on Netflix for you. I actually watched a lot of movies as an African to collate this list so I will be sure of what I am giving out to you.
Though the platform hasn’t yet penetrated into the African movie industry fully, there are some good movies about Africa on the streaming platform, I will definitely give you a brief about some of the movies on this list (I promise, no spoilers) and I will try to give my reasons why each of them are on the list, Shall we?
Here Are 20 Movies About Africa On Netflix You Should See:
Just a reminder that this is a list for movies “about” Africa and not movies “made” in Africa or movies “made by” Africans on Netflix.
1.) Hotel Rwanda
I actually watched this movie for the first time as a little boy and that was the first time (as long as I can remember) I understood what a genocide felt like. With goose pimples dancing on my black skin and little tears rushing down my soft black cheeks, I wrote the name of the movie in my heart and vowed to watch it again which I did.
Hotel Rwanda is a true life movie that tells the story of the 1994 Rwandan genocide but focuses on Paul Rusesabagina, a hotel manager and “hero” who during the war and genocide saved many refugees.
This here is actually very old. It was made in 1964. Zulu tells the story of the Battle of Rorke’s Drift which happened in 1879 British Army and the Zulus during the Anglo-Zulu War. Many people don’t like the movie because they consider it to be racist as Africans were depicted somehow like savages. I will leave you to form an opinion of yours.
Not every movie about Africa is wars and whatnot. Fifty is a drama and romance movie that shows the lives of four Nigerian women. In the words of Essence ”A new Nollywood (Nigeria’s version of Hollywood) drama aims to present a fresh perspective of the everyday lives of African women.
Set in Africa’s megacity of Lagos, Nigeria, Fifty revolves around four women at a pivotal point in their lives: navigating careers, love, and relationships against the backdrop of African traditions and cultural obligations. Unlike most of the movies about Africa on Netflix that tells a story of war and poverty, this does not. You should see it.
I am Igbo, so this movie is one of my favorites because in a way, it is centered around my people. Half of a Yellow sun is a 2013 movie that tells the story of Olanna, Kainene and Odenigbo as they become swept up in the struggle to establish Biafra as an independent republic. It is set in the 1960s, during the Biafra war. The movie was based on the novel of the same name by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. It is a movie I know you will love.
I am pretty sure many of us have heard about the infamous Ugandan dictator, Idi Amin. The 1981 movie (old, I know) tells the story of Idi Amin’s rule from 1971 until his overthrow and forced exile in 1979.
Beasts of No Nation is a 2015 war drama movie. In this movie, civil war rages in a fictional African country and a young orphan is trained to join a group of guerrilla soldiers. This movie shows a bit of the effect of wars on young Africans caught up in wars. And also shows how political some civil wars are. Shot in Ghana, the movie is based on the 2005 novel of the same name by Nigerian writer Uzodinma Iweala. The book itself is named after a Fela Kuti album.
This 2018 romance drama tells the story of two people in love, Kena and Ziki whose paths crossed when their fathers run against each other for seats in the County Assembly.
It is banned in Kenya, because the two teenagers are women. The movie had its international premiere in the UN Certain Regard section at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival making it the first Kenyan film to be screened at the festival. Rafiki was a delight to watch as it shows the kind of stories that new African filmmakers are ready to bring out, away from war and genocide movies.
Starring Idris Elba and Naomie Harris, Long walk to Freedom is a 2013 British-South African biographical film based on the 1995 autobiographical book ‘Long Walk to Freedom’ by anti-apartheid revolutionary and former South African President Nelson Mandela.
In Claudia Puig of USA Today’s words, “Earnest and ambitious, the film suffers from trying to squeeze in too many milestones of Nelson Mandela’s long life as he worked to end the oppressive regime of apartheid in South Africa. But the talent of the lead actors lends it heft, particularly the commanding performance of Idris Elba as Mandela.” The movie is okay to watch if you want to understand a bit (not all) of the fight against the apartheid government.
Òlòtūré is a 2019 movie about Òlòtūré, a young and naive journalist in Lagos who goes undercover as a prostitute to expose human trafficking. The movie tells the story of how girls from Africa are recruited into human trafficking. It is educating and interesting to watch and that is why it is of no surprise that within days after its release, Òlòturé ranged among the Top 10 watched movies in the world on Netflix.
‘Gangster’s Paradise: Jerusalema’ is a movie based on true life events, it is based on the story of Lucky Kunene, an underworld figure who in the 1990s took over real estate in the Hillbrow neighborhood of Johannesburg, South Africa. This 2008 movie takes you on a journey into the crime and corruption of Johannesburg, South Africa.
Black November is a 2015 movie based on true life events and revolves around the struggle of the oil rich Niger Delta of Nigeria. It tells the story of members of a Niger Delta community who wage a war against their corrupt government and an international oil corporation to save their land from being destroyed by excessive drilling and frequent spills. The movie derived its title from the month in which activist Ken Saro-Wiwa was executed in 1995. The movie was first released as Black Gold (I suggest you see this too) in 2012 but later re-issued as Black November in 2015 with added and subtracted scenes to make it “current”.
Diamonds In The Sky is a 2018 movie directed by Kunle Afolayan. It tells the story of the different lives of three women as they navigate the effects of cancer in their lives. The movie raises awareness about cancer and shows how women from different levels in the society combats it.
Up North is a 2018 Nigerian movie about a rich heir who has to spend a year in service in Bauchi, a state in Nigeria’s northern region. In a way, the movie shows the clashing of cultures between two people (Bassey and Aminat) from different part of the country.
I’m pretty sure you will enjoy these movies about Africa and if you feel there’s a movie that should be on the Vocal Africa ‘Movies About Africa on Netflix’ list but isn’t, you can comment and we’ll update. Mind you, I added only movies that gives a look into the life of Africans or tell a particular story that provides a view into the African life.