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First Fridays at the Museum: The African Queen (1951)

Friday, Feb. 2, 5–9 p.m.

Introduced by Dr. Owen J. Kalinga, Professor of History at NC State University and author of numerous works on African history. 

See the exhibit North Carolina and World War I, then stay for this classic film, starting at 6:30 p.m.

After her brother is killed by German soldiers in an east African colony in 1914, a missionary sister works to convince the captain of a run-down steamboat to help seek revenge for the British.

The African Queen (MPAA rating: PG; run time: 105 min.) was chosen for the World War I Film Series, specifically, to help audiences understand the profound impact that WWI had on the African continent—in terms of the empire-building aspirations of England, France, and Germany and in terms of the native Africans who were “used” during the war as soldiers and as support for foreign armies. Most people probably do not realize that the war’s cost to Africans was very high: tens of thousands who served as front-line soldiers for France and England were killed, as well as hundreds of thousands of civilians who died in support of, or in crossfire between, armies fighting throughout sub-Saharan Africa.

Actor Humphrey Bogart won his only Oscar for this portrayal opposite Katharine Hepburn. This is one in a monthly series of films meant to help interpret some of the scope and complexity of the Great War.

Before the film begins, enjoy some So Good Pupusas Salvadoran food truck and free samples of local microbrews while they last. Lobby-level exhibits are open all evening; the Museum Shop is open until 8 p.m

Major supporters of the exhibit North Carolina and World War I are the NC Museum of History Foundation and MOHA, the Museum of History Associates. Note: A simulated battlefield environment—including bright lights, flashing lights, and loud noises—in this exhibit may be disturbing to children or visitors with health concerns. In addition, some images may not be suitable for some visitors.