Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The Banana Brewery in the Age of Mechanical Beer Production

This is a still from the shoot of Horeb Bulambo’s new film, “Searching for My Father,” which the Goma Film Project is producing. It was taken last Saturday in a village not far from Nyiragongo and the MONUC airport base, but so tucked away from the road that it could have been Anyvillage, Congo DRC. We spent a day beneath the banana trees among a lot of perplexed villagers. (Seen here, a chief, his wife and henchmen)

It’s a simple story in the vein of “Prejudice,” Horeb’s last movie. A mixed-race girl living with her Mzungu/ NGO worker mother (played by LT, our editrix, who is Korean-American, but all non black or arab people are called “Mzungu” here—even the Indians, who would be called “Mhindi” elsewhere in the Kiswahili speaking world I think—but I digress)—anyway this girl is tired of being called a bastard and sets out to find her father in a remote village. Then it becomes sort of a story of love lost and found, etc., and ends with a group hug (like “Prejudice” did). It has some pretty intense scenes, including a traditional dance of the virgins, in which a son of the village must pick his bride among a seductive line of dancing girls. Horeb wanted to pay homage to tradition while also saying something about cosmopolitainism and the future of Africa... anyway, I'm not in it, so who cares.

The spot for UNICEF is on local TV, and there's a march for women's rights coming up soon that might make a good cap to the movie.

BJ saw the body of a sorcerer on the way back from tennis-- she had been stoned to death. Now, I know what you're thinking-- we all know that sorcerers fly around naked by night on sorcerer airplanes, right? So how could the stones ever bring her down? Well, as a mechanic at the hospital patiently explained, it was surmised that this particular witch must have run out of gas for her magic plane, thus explaining her naked fall to earth. Still it was a strange sight at 7am, per Bige.

The documentary? The actual purpose of our coming here? It's getting bigger and more complicated every day, more and more footage comes in, and we're trying to file down to a few compelling characters. Translation is a burden, but there are many new scenes already and it just keeps going...

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