So some man, a white man at that, sticks his flag into African land, claims the land for his daughter, and Disney decides to make a movie about it. Does anyone else see the problem, excuse me multiple problems, in what I just said. Well, what I just described is actually happening. If you haven’t heard about this event, let me enlighten you. In 2014, a Virginia man, Jeremiah Heaton planted his flag in a piece of land between Egypt and Sudan and claimed it for himself and his family. I don’t know about you but this story is already starting to sound barbaric and colonial to me. As of right now, no one knows exactly who the land belongs to, but something tells me it doesn’t belong to Mr. Heaton. In addition, Heaton has been working with the United Nations to legally claim the land. Furthermore, Disney has taken an interest in this story and has decided to produce a movie based off of the event, where it follows the life of Heaton’s daughter, Emily. Now, we don’t know the exact storyline for the movie, but we do know that it will be entitled “The Princess of North Sudan.”
To say the least, this whole situation seems problematic to me. First, why does Mr. Heaton think its ok to just claim land? You may think well we don’t know who the land belongs to, so I guess he can lay claims to it. Now doesn’t that sound a lot like what white Europeans said when they decided to take over African land over 300 years ago? That land belonged to the African people, but due to greed, false superiority, and violence, the Europeans were able to steal it. Next problem, why is Disney making a movie about what sounds like an African country’s princess, but the princess is a little white girl? I’ve never been to the Sudan, but I’m pretty sure the people of the Sudan are a few shades darker. If Disney wants to make this movie, I have two suggestions. First off, I suggest that Disney changes the title of the movie to something more fitting. Secondly, perhaps it would be wise for Disney to address the colonialism aspect of this whole ordeal. They should look at the life of an American girl who’s father laid claim to African land. I would gladly watch a Disney movie focusing on aspects of colonialism, even if it is focusing on a little white girl, because at least they are addressing such a big historical issue. But wouldn’t an even better storyline for a movie called “The Princess of North Sudan” be if the film followed a young African girl who’s father was the supreme leader of a Sudanese tribe. Their tribe’s land could have been stolen by a European, or an American like Jeremiah Heaton. The movie would follow how the tribe tries to get the land back, but is constantly oppressed by the invaders. This would be a nice way for Disney to show their cultural awareness and make big bucks. Well, I think I just wrote the next Disney blockbuster, if I must say so myself.