The Biafran War According to Hollywood: Militainment and Historical Distortion in Antoine Fuqua’s Tears of the Sun (2003)
Negative imaging of Africa through the “Dark Continent” trope continues unabated in western written and visual representation, but while colonial historiography has been successfully challenged by various professional historians in the continent like Ade Ajayi, Ali Mazrui, Adu Boahen, Bethwell Allan Ogot and J. Ki-Zerbo among others, and most contemporary historical literature no longer entertain such biases, the same cannot be said of cultural productions on Africa emanating from the West. The negative representation of Africa has persisted in Western literature and more especially in western film through to the post-colonial era via instruments of Euro-American cultural imperialism like Hollywood, and the Western media at large. This paper focuses on the filmic reconstruction of the Biafran War in Tears of the Sun (2003) by director Antoine Fuqua, and shows how the film distorts Nigerian history while adhering to the militainment genre to glorify the United States military at the expense of Nigeria’s image.
Key words: Hollywood, Biafra, Colonialism, Representation, Historiography,