‘Africa and Schweitzer:
The Missions Collection’ ~
CFDb Movie Review
Many prestigious but little-known documentaries were made by long defunct Christian film studios that hired Hollywood’s top talent for production. One such doc long considered lost is the superb Africa and Schweitzer, produced in 1961 by pioneer Christian filmmaker and founder of Cathedral Films — Rev. James K. Friedrich.
This 27-minute doc was made four years before Schweitzer’s death and tells of his half-century of African missionary work after abandoning his European career in 1913. The camera captures Schweitzer at work in the hospital, tending his many animals, writing alongside his cat, playing his beloved organ and attending a European meeting. To narrate, Friedrich brought in Lowell Thomas, the voice of Fox Movietone News, and the doc was exquisitely photographed in the Belgian Congo by Sven Nykvist, Ingmar Bergman’s famed academy award winning cinematographer.
This was filmed back in 1961 and it’s only 30 minutes long, but it’s packed full of great information about this amazing man, Albert Schweitzer. I had heard of him but didn’t know much about him. Here were some highlights from the film:
- He is described as an artist, thinking, writer, preacher, musician, healer, man of God. (WOW)
- He touched the hearts of MANY, human and animal.
- His extreme reverence for life and compassion for pain reminded me of how Jesus must have felt.
- Loved learning about how he was called to Africa and how long it took to really get there. Very encouraging for those that are discouraged at the time it takes to get to their true calling.
- How this man became a Dr to bring physical and spiritual healing, especially to those involved in Voodoo worship.
- He reached their souls through physical healing.
- Great message about the Holy Spirit
- Practical Christianity shown where there used to be idolatry, hate and fear.
- His talent was given to the Lord as an offering and he touched many lives as a result.
What really struck me was that in 1914 when WWI came, he was a German citizen and had to return to Europe and when he was gone a majority of people fell back into Voodoo worship.
This reminded me so much of the history of the people in the Bible. When the people had a strong leader, the people were strong but when the leader died they went back into idolatry and sin.
Very sad, but God always leaves a remnant and He left a remnant for Albert to come back to as well. They remained faithful and refused to go back to their old lifestyle and rejoiced when he returned to them.
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