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THE CHURCH IN AFRICA: In his documentary African Christianity Rising, James Ault explores the church boom in Ghana (above) and Zimbabwe. © JAMES AULT PRODUCTIONS

When the Westerners leave

In several scenes of the movie Blended, starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, an all-male singing group accompanies shots of the movie’s characters and punctuates the plot. “Welcome to Africa,” the group sings as families arrive at a resort in an unnamed African country. “We are blending!” they sing, as American stepfamilies participate in family bonding exercises. Terry Crews, an American football player, leads the singers in what looks like an addled recollection of a minstrel show. The result is a movie that presents an American idea of Africa, one that’s embarrassing and desperately in need of revision.


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