This film treatise by a Sudanese director on the subject of racism from the perspective of a white man is set in the style of an American Western. Made as a graduation project at the Potsdam-Babelsberg film academy in Germany, the result is a seemingly curious mix of cowboys speaking German dialogue that echoes the views of the Black filmmaker. The message, however, is simple and direct.
Hunting Party follows a white mob searching for a Black farmworker. The white main protagonist finds himself confronted for the first time with conflicted feelings about the Black man. On the one hand he despises Black people in general; on the other, he knows and feels admiration for this particular Black man. The film works towards the climax of this internal struggle, when the cowboy has to make a choice—and live with the consequences.
Almost 60 years after the making of this 1964 film by Ibrahim Shaddad, a co-founder of what later became the Sudanese Film Group and subject of the documentary Talking About Trees (2019), the themes it explores are unfortunately as relevant as ever.