A Daughter of the Congo (1930)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Early Black Cinema  |   Run Time - 88 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Released by the African-American Oscar Micheaux Corp., this highly controversial silent melodrama featured Katherine Noisette and the handsome Lorenzo Tucker, who was widely known by African-American movie patrons as "The Black Valentino." Noisette played Lupelta, a beautiful mulatto girl stolen by savages as an infant and brought up in the jungle. On her way to marry tribal chief Lodango (Clarence Redd), Lupelta is abducted by a gang of Arab slave traders. She is rescued by black American Captain Paul Dale (Tucker), who is sent to the jungle to operate a constabulary. Brought to a mission school, Lupelta readily succumbs to learning and a "civilized" way of life, although she never loses her inclination to revert to the wild life of the jungle. Produced, written and directed by black film-maker Oscar Micheaux, A Daughter of the Congo was highly criticized by African-American newspaper editors who decried the film's "persistent vaunting of intraracial color fetishism." Explained Theophilus Lewis of New York's Amsterdam News: "The scene is laid in a not so mythical republic in Africa. Half of the characters wear European clothes and are supposed to be civilized, while the other half wear their birthday suits and some feathers and are supposed to be savages. All the noble characters are high yellows; all the ignoble ones are black. It is based on a false assumption that has no connection with the realities of life." A Daughter of the Congo was Micheaux's final silent film.

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Low Budget, Low Production Values