Some stories need to be told…and this is a bit of a rambling, sort of pedantic one.

I got back in touch last week with my friend and filmmaker, Giuseppe Petitto from Rome. It got me thinking about the last time I saw him in 2004 when I spent Christmas and New Years in Italy, thanks to his surprise all-expenses-paid invitation to participate in a documentary film event in his hometown of Catanzaro in the south. More»

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Where on earth can we find quiet these days?

We’re flying home now, as I write, after a hectic schedule of six days shooting in The Gambia, and the image that remains with me now is that of a quiet rural night sky with the stars fixed around a silhouetted baobab tree. A total calm in the night that I rarely experience. A balmy breeze blowing after a hot day on the Sahelian landscape. More»

baba-drinks-tea-with-mintYesterday I explained the term “fixer” to our fixer, Baba Jallow. He’s the media guy at the Nova Scotia Gambia Association’s office in Fajara. During our time here, he’s been at our side through long days of racing around meeting as many people as we can. Without our fixer, we wouldn’t have gotten a small fraction of our work done this week. Baba has been on the cell phone, making arrangements, finding obscure shops on dusty back streets in neighbourhoods, making suggestions for how to approach people, negotiating prices and most importantly, providing translations and explanations whenever people are yelling at us, or laughing at us… He speaks five or six languages, including Wollof, Jola, Mandinka, English, and his own native Fula. More»

oren-eats-foufou

It’s been a whirlwind week. They say The Gambia is a laid back country, but it’s been non-stop for us running around trying to get a fix on our story and lead characters. On top of that I was totally out ofcommission for a day with some serious digestive problems that kept me running between the bed and bathroom! Oh well. Such can be life on the road. Fortunately, I emerged yesterday feeling like a new man and ready to get back in the action. More»

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We found Mr. Mbye Chaw in the heart of a Banjul neighbourhood, and he graciously welcomed us to sit down in the courtyard of his family’s compound. He held forth on a few subjects that are his passion, education and culture and community. But he talked specifically about the evil of education. The fact that today, in The Gambia and elsewhere, education teaches people how to get through the system, but doesn’t teach us who we are. That, he says, should be what education does. “You can read all the books, you can learn all the science, but that will never give you intelligence. That comes from co-existence, from understanding the humanity of each other.” More»