So one of my favorite film directors, Ridley Scott helmed another monumental film depicting the Biblical Exodus story. The film, to be released this year, Exodus: Gods and Kings, depicts the pseudo-historical Moses, leader of the nascent Hebrew nation and the very historical Ra-Moses II, the 19th dynasty Pharaoh. The controversy over the strictly European film cast sheds light on the Western culture industry’s constantly reinforced European claim to power across all periods even in times and places, where they are neither protagonist, antagonist, or agonistic innocent bystander. In 1843, the Reverend Henry Highland Garnet spoke to the misappropriation of African history by the West tying that truth regime to the justification of American enslavement of Africans,
“…the modern world seems determined to pilfer Africa of her glory; her merciless foes weary themselves in plundering the tombs of our renowned sires, and in obliterating their worthy deeds, which were inscribed by fame upon the pages of ancient history.”
The film should also reinforce the determination of Africana Studies scholars to support Black film production and to continue to unearth hidden narratives from the past. The image at right is a Nile valley depiction of Ramses II during his lifetime in a Nubian temple.