As a Nigerian American, I read with great interest John Horn’s article about Antoine Fuqua’s effort to bring realism to his new film, “Tears of the Sun.”
However, Mr. Fuqua has done everything but “keep it real” by setting his story in Nigeria.
While Nigeria has a lot of problems as Africa’s most populous country, “ethnic cleansing” is not one of them. If Mr. Fuqua wanted to pick an African country where genocide has happened, he should have chosen Rwanda, Sierra Leone or the Congo, where these hideous attacks have recently occurred.
If Mr. Fuqua insisted on having Nigeria be the locale for his film, it would have been more accurate to have Bruce Willis’ character rescue an oil executive from environmental activists.
Instead, we have the same problem of painting the whole of Africa with one brush. It is this type of ignorance that allows Hollywood and America to turn a blind eye to the real horrors facing that continent.
The real shame of the “compromise” that is used to justify marketing “Tears of the Sun” as some type of statement on the tragedy of Rwanda is that it is still really only a major studio vehicle for Bruce Willis that will preclude any attempt to take a more serious and necessary look at the events being pictured.
No matter how you spell it, this is still rationalization and hypocrisy.