WHITE MAN'S COUNTRY
(From 'The Black Man's Land' Trilogy) Anthony Howarth, David R. Koff / UK 1970 / 52m, Documentary
In the late 19th century, Britain, France, Germany and other European states agreed on the division of Africa into a patchwork of colonies, and set about exploring and exploiting their new possessions. Violence was endemic to the process, for how else could the people already living there be persuaded to cede their land, labour, property and freedom to foreigners? Colonialism’s brutal dialectic of repression and resistance was set in motion, as Africans fought to defend their lives and eventually, organised national political movements and underground military forces to win their rights and freedom. White Man’s Country combines period photographs and contemporary location footage with the testimony of African and European witnesses, to examine both sides of Europe’s "civilising mission” in Africa.
Roger Buck worked in London from 1967 to 1976, first as a freelance assistant film editor then as an editor. He worked from 1976 to 1983 in Newcastle upon Tyne within the regional independent film culture. From 1983 to 1999, he returned to work in London as a freelance editor. From 1999 to 2016, he worked at Edinburgh Napier University as a part-time Lecturer in Media Production and Critical Studies.
Documentary credits as editor include work for Channel Four, Frankfurte Allgemeine Zeitung, Granada, RTE, Tyne Tees and Yorkshire television. When he first started working in cutting rooms, lightweight 16mm film cameras, improved film stocks and portable sound recorders were in the process of revolutionising the documentary. In his early years of teaching at Edinburgh Napier, he placed a strong emphasis on documentary, the need for students to thoroughly research and observe their chosen subject material, and to develop an understanding of how all representation is both selective and ideologically constructed.
From 1976 to 1979, he was programmer of a small, subsidised public cinema in Newcastle, showing a wide range of independent and classic films. He gave a presentation on the use of cinema with further education, trade union and women’s groups at the 1978 Edinburgh Film Festival.
He edited ‘Because I am King’, a feature length essay film constructed around a performance of a ‘Lehrstuck’ cantata written by Bertolt Brecht and composed by Paul Hindemith. This was screened as part of the 1980 Edinburgh Film Festival. He directed ‘Industrial Britain’, a short essay film on the industrial North East using dramatic scenes and compilation material, shown on Channel Four in 1982.