Senator Obama
Goes to Africa
Review by Ross Anthony

At the time of this review, Obama recently clinched the Democratic nomination just a few weeks back and is currently in the news for flipping on his pledge to stick with public financing for the general election campaign. I don't know all the facts as of yet, but I find that move disappointing and worrisome. I was enthusiastically routing for him, but going back on his word like that, gives me serious pause.

Nonetheless, I looked forward to reviewing this documentary because, well, there are still favorable aspects of Obama. I especially appreciate the multi-cultural outlook his particular family has given him. With half his family and his blood from Kenya, his mother and another sister in Indonesia., he's had the grand privilege of seeing the world from a much more global point of view. And when I say that, I don't mean simply a wider American "foreign policy" point of view. I mean a human being point of view.

This doc follows Obama as he stops in several villages in Kenya, S. Africa and Chad. Having spent a year working in Kenya myself several years back, I particularly enjoyed the Kenyan section of the video which thankfully includes the thoughts and points of view of the locals. Though it easily makes a great photo op, the public HIV testing he and his wife undergo also makes for a ripe example in an area greatly in need of such examples. Obama also speaks out against Kenya's governmental corruption, given his recent turn on his word -- I do hope these high ideals will not become words he will soon likewise distance himself from.

In S. Africa, Obama spends a few minutes in Mandela's old prison cell, guided by Nelson's fellow former political prisoner. Quite a profound segment really.

And a stop at a camp full of Darfur refugees ends Obama's visit on yet another somber tone.

For the most part, Obama stands at microphones, reassuring everyone he's listening and remembering their needs. Anyway, those where his words. All of that sounds nice enough, although I must admit, I wasn't comforted by his last comment of the video. "We now have to actively engage in stabilizing these regions." He's speaking about regions of unrest outside the US. Not sure what he means by actively engage -- is he speaking diplomatically or militarily?

Anyway, the doc clocks in several minutes short of a feature. A wise decision, the pattern was on the verge of repetition. Overall, interesting and worthwhile despite it's pro-Obama slant. But not a must see.

-- Book Contest --

  • Senator Obama Goes to Africa. Copyright © 2008.
  • Starring Barack Obama. Directed by Bob Hercules, a First Run Feature Release.

Grade..........................B (2/4)

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Copyright © 1998-2023 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

Last Modified: Tuesday, 15-Jul-2008 11:07:59 PDT