Stereotyping a Place: Soundtrack from the movie Out of Africa

As you can see, I am in the mood of listening to movie soundtracks…:-). I guess most of you will agree with me that John Barry was one of the most brilliant composers ever lived in our time. Just listen to this award winning original music score and I guarantee that the music will simply take your breath away.

Without reducing my admiration to the amazing visual of this movie, I don’t know if it’s intentional or not, yet I think this movie contributes to the stereotyping of place, that is Africa. Following the thoughts of Edward Said in his influential book ‘Orientalism’, this movie similarly depicts Africa as a place of ‘the Other’, somewhere mysterious, beautiful, wild, unknown, and waiting to be tamed. The ultimate destination for those looking for ‘the final frontier’.

I guess I understand why people love to travel, the promise of the journey into the unknown is simply irresistible.

“…a tourist can’t help but have a distorted opinion of a place: he meets unrepresentative people, has unrepresentative experiences, and runs around imposing upon the place the fantastic mental pictures he had in his head when he got there.” Michael Lewis – Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World

Thank you for Tom Chen, whose effort has made this amazing clips available for all of us to enjoy, especially those breathtaking scenes when Karen and Denys flew over Africa.


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