Essay On The Documentary 'Land Of The Upright Man' By Thomas Sankara

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The hour-long documentary directed by Robin Shuffield succinctly captures the largely ignored story of African revolutionary and former leader of the Burkina Faso, Thomas Sankara. The film covers the rise, governing style and eventual downfall of the charismatic army captain. There is a clear focus on his zeal to reform the Burkinabe society, minds and economy with methods that were clearly discredited by Western powers. This reflection on the documentary details the reforms Sankara implemented in his brief spell in charge of Burkina Faso and compares these reforms to Nigerian policies at the time. Sankara rose to power in 1983 in a widely supported coup d’état. He renamed the country Burkina Faso, ‘Land of the Upright Man’ and launched ambitious socioeconomic programs. Sankara’s political actions and relations with foreign powers bared a strong resemblance to Lumumba in the Democratic Republic of Congo some twenty years earlier. Sankara believed that for his political philosophy to be successful and result in fundamental change in his country there was a need for an element of madness. …show more content…

At the Organization of African Unity Summit, he urged his fellow African leaders to ignore their foreign debt and shun loans from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Sankara staunchly pushed self-sufficiency and sought to improve the agricultural methods and reduced imports of French supplies. He believed that the consumption of French food was simply an extension of colonialism because the Burkinabe people were capable cof feeding themselves. He also tried to develop the cotton sector by encouraging civil staff to dress in the local garb. A major program of his self-sufficient ideas was the building of a railroad by the Burkinabe people without foreign

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