Day 2 – Film 8 of My @HotDocs #FilmFeast
My fifth and final course for day two, saving the best for last, was also not a light topic, most documentaries are not, but this film’s principal subject Josephat Torner from Tanzania is a truly courageous and inspirational human being. The director Harry Freeland shows courage in his own right, documenting Josephat’s compassionate journey within his home country Tanzania on his quest to educate communities and help youngsters face the challenges that he did growing up with albinism.
In The Shadow of the Sun takes on a prophetic quality. It began as a project to document one man’s quest to end discrimination of black Africans against Albino aka white Africans before the horrific killings had even begun.
To the uneducated and superstitious, he and others like him in Africa are seen as subhuman. Witch doctors have labeled them as demons because they are white skinned, with African features, otherwise known as albino. Over the last number of years 73 albino people were killed and their limbs given to witch doctors who have been spreading lies saying that in doing these heinous acts, the murderers will become wealthy. Josephat Torner and Harry Freeman have traveled extensively risking their lives to correct this falsehood.
This is a must see film and one of my favourites at Hot Docs with a cause worth getting behind. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “An injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere.”
Both Josephat Torner and director Harry Freeland were on hand for a full house Q&A after a well deserved standing ovation. If only more people had this man’s courage, what a better world we would have to share. Thank you to all who’ve had a hand in making this film and getting it out there. In the Shadow of The Sun is one of the most important human rights films of the year. Peace, protection and provision to you as you take this film on tour throughout Tanzania and around the world.
In answer to a question on what he believes will bring about change, Mr. Torner said he was “Praying to God to get the word out” and that “the Key is education to open a mind.” In one scene in the film Josephat enters a village and draws a curious crowd, clearly with mixed feelings about him. His question and the answer cuts through the tension, “Do you see an object or a person?” And a voice of reason is heard, “A person.”