the constructions of colonial dynamics in two Catholic missionary films, one Italian and one British, illuminate the respective colonial powers’ contrasting agendas in the 1920s. The Italian documentary Italy in Eritrea and the Catholic Missions (Italia in Eritrea e il ruolo delle missioni, 1922) features Indigenous people, local customs, and Catholic missionaries from the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin. This film presents the colonized and colonizing people in ways that differ sharply from another Catholic missionary film from the same period, the British Mill Hill Fathers Shed Light on the Dark Places of Earth (1920), which features footage of the British colonizers in Uganda. Using sociocultural interpretation as well as a careful look at the images and their denotations, this article shows that the differences in these films mirror the divergent strategies of Italian and British colonial rule in the early twentieth century.

Both documentaries were produced by...

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