Film ID:
YFA 2425



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This film made by Benjamin Seebohm Rowntree, an English sociologist and philanthropist, documents a trip he took between 1932-33 travelling to different parts of Africa such as Nigeria, Gambia and Sierra Leone. The main purpose of the trip was to procure cocoa, which would be taken back to Yorkshire to make some of the nation's favourite chocolates. The film captures the interworking of Africa's cocoa industry, but also demonstrates Rowntree's particular interest in sociology, as he keenly films the local people and much of their traditional customs.

Title - Jos is a busy centre of the tin district; we see it in holiday garb celebrating Sala.

The opening sequence shows a village which comprises predominately of mud huts. Many shots capture village life and the locals enjoying the attention of the camera.

Title - If a native hut catches fire, it burns to the ground.

From a distance, the filmmaker captures a shot of a hut on fire. Then there are landscape views which include large flocks of birds and antelope.

Title - At Vom there is a veterinary station. Here are some cattle being dipped.

Cattle walk along a metal walkway before plunging into a water tub. Next passage displays village life in Vom, and there is a busy market with people using the calabash to transport goods. Further shots show local children playing and some shots of women with very little clothing.

Title - As sixteen miles an hour is about the fastest the travels, you can get photographs from the windows.

Locals stand in a field, talking.

Title - White ant-hills in this region are taller than men.

Towering ant hills, thriving in the hot planes, are captured by the filmmaker.

Title - A view of the namesake of Nigeria - The Niger.

In this sequence there are shots of the river Niger from a moving train. The train then approaches a bridge, and as it passes over the bridge there are glimpses of locals in boats traversing the waters.

Title - Nearly at the end of the trip. Saying farewell to the staff at Agege.

A group of people stand around; they are smartly dressed in suits and dresses. Some are clearly tourists - part of the travelling contingency.

Title -Not repairing telegraph wires, but collecting palm wine.

A man climbs up a huge palm tree before clambering back down.

Title - At sea once again. Officials come on board at Monrovia.

Row boats pull alongside the passenger ship. The officials board the ship and there are shots of the officials walking across the passenger ships deck. The final shots the capture the officials re-boarding their row boats and traveling back to shore.

Title - The end.