For Academic & Institutional Use

(30 additional minutes of Bonus Stories & Interviews are included on DVD version only)


“Our Africa” covers the period from 1960, when 17 African countries became independent from European colonial powers, until the collapse of the USSR in 1991.
During the Khrushchev “thaw”, the foreign policy of the Soviet Union intensified, and Africa and the Arab world became priority areas of Soviet diplomacy. Filmmakers from Moscow, Kiev, Leningrad, Sverdlovsk, Minsk, Vilnius, Riga, Tallinn, Tashkent and Tbilisi were sent on a mission to the African continent, where for 30 years they made photos and videos of parades of the military and youth, the collectivization of agriculture, scientific and technical progress under the guidance of Soviet specialists, glorifying Marxism-Leninism and the one-party political system.

Using clips from more than 70 documentaries, scriptwriter and director Alexander Markov highlights the “bright future” of Africa cherished by Soviet tutelage, elevating the first presidents of independent countries to the rank of folk heroes, fighters and saviors of the continent.
The first visits of African countries by “simple” Soviet people. The first Lenin badge pinned on the lapel of a new African friend’s jacket. The camera conveys conflicting feelings and operators’ mindsets: immediate emotions and inspiration are mixed with ideological patterns.
Rallies in support of the Congolese leader Patrice Lumumba in plants and factories. A messenger from space, Yuri Gagarin, triumphantly travels across Africa, and his image can be seen even on a Nigerian taxi driver’s windscreen.
Leonid Brezhnev, squeezing in the tight embrace of African presidents, feels his finest hour, while Nikita Khrushchev, on his last visit as General Secretary, overlooks the Nile at Aswan.
Mikhail Gorbachev, shaking hands with Robert Mugabe, closes this chain when the pathos of Soviet internationalism breaks on Perestroika like the cast-iron head of Lenin on the pavement of Khreshchatyk.
Politicians leave, but ideas remain. I recall a taxi driver in New York called Isaiah. He dreamed of resurrecting Lenin for at least a week so that he could restore equality in his native Burkina Faso. The last shots of the film “Our Africa” are just wondering about the export of ideas. But that’s enough spoilers…

How to use the film

Add the film to your events calendar and you can use it as a documentary on African independence. Each year every African country celebrates its Independence Day, so it makes sense to keep the film for that day.

Test your students on which leader belongs to which country. You will see several of them in film – in fact they were the first presidents.

Show the film in the classroom – it will help in studying the history of relations between Africa and the USSR during the Cold War.

Add the film to your library’s collection and make it available to everyone with an interest in the Soviet Union and Third World countries.

How licensing works

We offer a tiered licensing and pricing system to make the film accessible to all types of organizations. You are legally obliged to purchase the appropriate license for your institution.

As independent filmmakers, we rely on your support to keep producing great documentaries and offering them to the public. We review all purchases to confirm correct licensing.

If you have any questions, please see the Licensing FAQ.

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30 additional minutes of Bonus Stories & Interviews are included on DVD version only.


Stan Poplavskii
+7 (495) 131-8042


Our Africa

By SDF & Ukulele Film

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