Good Morning Africa!

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Africa is a place where you don't have a lot of time to think about things. I had a feeling that this was a continent where you have to make decisions very quickly, because tomorrow could be too late.

I started, in a way, to think about my life: how we think too long about possibilities, whether they're right or not right. In my private life or in my professional life: should I do it or should I leave it, is it a good idea or not a good idea.

Then I was faced with women who have a completely different approach. I have to tell you that it was very healthy: very healthy as a human being, to say that there is a possible other way to deal with things, to deal with life, normal challenges that we all have in our everyday life.

It was my person journey to see that in this world which is much tougher than mine, much more difficult, I discovered a way to deal with life which surprised me in a very positive way and I think also very healthy. That's what I took from this experience for my own life.  

There was a moment in the film where Grace sits with her girlfriends and hey talk about men and about relationships. I like this moment very much when Grace says, “If a relationship doesn't work for you, just forget it: it's not good. If your boyfriend is not good for you then just leave it because you need a clear mind.” She's really like that: maybe a little too closed but it's interesting to see these other perspectives and say, well maybe she's right: maybe not, but even to think of the possibility was already for me, a step. It brought me further in my own life.
   
WD: I remember that moment as well. That really stood out.

CS: (laughs) Yes, I think a lot of women do. And of course, because it touches us and it's normal. She has a way about her. You need a clear mind to deal with so many things and you can't allow yourself to be destroyed by a man, which is basically very clear and very true, and everybody knows it but still, on other continents it works in other ways.

WD: Do you know where the women are at in their lives now?

CS: Yes, I still have contact with them. Margaret is struggling very much at the moment fund-raising for the radio centre. It's tough but she keeps on going. She did manage to get another couple of employers so she's very happy. The business is going pretty well, still she is struggling. It works. At the moment it works.

Grace got the opportunity to move to the capital of Lesotho and they wanted her to be the director of this big, modern hospital and for a while she thought about it and didn't know what to do. In the end she decided to stay in Mafeteng with her people. Of all the people around her there she says, “This is my family. I can't leave” so she stayed there.

Marcia just opened, around ten days ago, a gallery where she shows and sells the objects that these women from the Savanna make.

That's what's happening in their lives a the moment.

WD: How have audiences been receiving your film so far?

CS: Very well. In Germany I had some very good feedback which surprised me. I got some letters and emails and some criticism as well from journalists, and what they said was that it was nice to see an everyday life picture of Africa: this is something we're not used to.

I don't know how it is in North America but here in Europe we do have a lot of documentary films about Africa, but usually about sicknesses, and tragedies, and so on. For some reason there's no space for showing what happens there in everyday life.

There are a lot of people who have a very normal life. The struggle with things like we do and are happy as we are, and so on. For me it was attractive to me to see this kind of picture of Africa. That's the kind of feedback I got.

WD: What kind of impact do you hope this film will have?

CS: That's very interesting. A very good question. It was such a deeply emotional experience for me that I hope... well, I can't expect that for the people who watch this film, it will have the same kind of emotional impact, but I hope to transmit at least a bit of it: a bit of this energy, a bit of this added perspective to life. That's the kind of impact I hope this film is going to have.

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Good Morning Africa will be shown during the Vancouver International Film Festival and director Chiara Sambuchi will be in attendance for the first screening.

Please check www.viff.org for listings and tickets.

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