In our March 2007 issue, we took a look at Asian films portraying cross-cultural and international exchanges between the peoples of the Asian continent. In the present issue, we bring attention to a number of films that explore interethnic relations between people on the continent of Africa.
Western media's coverage of interracial relations are often limited to interactions between whites and non-whites, or interactions between Westerners and non-Westerners. "Culture shock" stories written by white Western creators usually focus on the white hero/heroine entering an 'exotic' locale to display his/her open-mindedness through relationships with non-whites. Similarly, when people of color, whether living in the West or living outside the Western world, create stories that portray "intercultural exchange", they often focus on relationships between their ethnic community and the "white" mainstream, or exchanges between their countries and Western countries.
However, people of color have been interacting cross-culturally with each other for millennia, through 'positive' exchanges such as trade and diplomacy or 'negative' exchanges such as warfare. On a more personal level, non-Westerners connected with each other transracially with each through friendship, adoption and marriage. Considering that non-whites and non-Westerners comprise the majority of the world's population, it is important that their stories not be forgotten or marginalized.