Sanders of the River is a 1935 British film directed by the Hungarian-British director Zoltan Korda, based on the stories of Edgar Wallace. It is set in British Nigeria. The lead Nigerian characters were played by African-Americans Paul Robeson and Nina Mae McKinney. The film proved a significant commercial and critical success, giving Korda the first of his four nominations for Best Film at the Venice Film Festival.
Sanders (Leslie Banks) is a British colonial District Commissioner in Colonial Nigeria. He tries to rule his province fairly, including the various tribes comprising the Peoples of the River. He is regarded with respect by some and with fear by others, among whom he is referred to as "Sandi" and "Lord Sandi". He has an ally in Bosambo, a literate and educated chief (Paul Robeson).
When Sanders goes on leave, another chief, King Mofolaba, spreads the rumor that "Sandi is dead." Intertribal war seems inevitable, and the situation is made worse by gun-runners and slavers.
His relief, Ferguson (known to the natives as Lord Ferguson), is unequal to the task; He is captured and killed by King Mofolaba. Sanders returns to restore peace. When Bosambo's wife Lilongo (Nina Mae McKinney) is kidnapped, the chief tracks down her kidnappers. Captured by them, he is saved by a relief force commanded by Sanders. Bosambo kills King Mofolaba and is subsequently named by Sanders as the King of the Peoples of the River.
Other cast: Martin Walker, Robert Cochran, Richard Grey, Toto Ware, Marques De Portago, Eric Maturin, Allan Jeayes, Charles Carson, Jomo Kenyatta.
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