Yeah, it means you have to fight with the opposing part who want to see a selfish, myopic, self-indulged, narcissistic and greedy world. You have to fight that. Because the idea is that I believe that the best part of us as human beings resides in that [struggle] and, whatever it is that I do, I have a relationship with actors and directors from around the world who have their idea of the world and an image of themselves and how that reinforces my image and changes my image and allows me to find a connection, wherever that is - I don't care where it is, that's the world that I'm looking for. I'm looking for every way I can touch, where I can find the common states, I don't care if they're in the mountains of Appalachia or in a small village in the interior of Nicaragua or a small village on the border of Bolivia. I'm looking for that.
One thing in Bamako that I found tremendous when I saw it at the Toronto International Film Festival - and I'm glad you mention your respect for story - is that I felt Bamako presents a story that tells the truth, in contrast to the common American perception that a story merely entertains. Bamako adheres to the power of the parable.
You bear a witness to people.
So clearly as a producer you are contributing your efforts to help African cinemas to flourish, but what can the average person do?
Go see the films. [Chuckles.]
Is that enough? Is there not anything further people can do?
We support a film like Bamako. Certainly I want the film supported because it's my company and we made a great choice in terms of the work that we want to be engaged in. I want to say that this is the kind of work I want to do. Whenever I introduce the film and am part of a panel or Q&A, I say essentially that: I think these issues are important to all of us. They may not resonate for us 6,000 miles away, but at the same time, if you look at Oakland, California, if you look at New Orleans, the issues resonate real well. If you look at the wasted farmland in other places, if you look at these issues, it hits you right in the face. I want people to do more than that.
It's not so much winning a heart at a time - that's not what I'm talking about - I want people to think of this film as being the collective part of a movement of change, more than anything else. If people begin to sense that they are a collective part of a movement for change, even though that is often truncated and marginalized in the major media, if people begin to see that, then they will find the vehicles that will empower them. That's what I'm wanting to do. However we do whatever we do, we can find out ways to do that. I don't think that supporting African film is something you do outside of seeing it here, but seeing it here becomes essential and important as they begin to organize and as we begin to organize in terms of finding vehicles that tell us the truth, whether that's a documentary like Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 or Roger & Me or whatever, or whether it's found in a feature film like this, we get the truth out and, more than anything else, we have to look at ourselves in the mirror when we get up in the morning and say, "I'm not afraid of the truth and, because I'm not afraid of the truth, I have to work collectively with a whole bunch of people to change and create the truth in an image that we want to imagine."
Bookmark/Search this post with: