The acclaimed filmmaker Vic Sarin discusses his new documentary The Boy from Geita, a film about albinism in Tanzania and beyond, with Joseph Planta.
Text of introduction by Joseph Planta:
I am Planta: On the Line, in Vancouver, at TheCommentary.ca.
Vic Sarin joins me again. He’s got a new documentary having its Western Canadian premiere tomorrow night at the Vancouver International Film Festival: The Boy From Geita. Mr. Sarin was on last year for his documentary Hue: A Matter of Colour, which spent some time in Tanzania looking at how albinos there are treated. In this new movie, we meet a 12 year old boy named Adam. He is an albino, and like many others with a lighter pigmentation, he is under threat by those practicing witchcraft who hunt them for body parts. It’s a horrific story made worse by the fact that Adam’s father tried to make money by allowing his son to be maimed. He’s attacked and his arms and legs are hacked at. The boy is left with missing limbs and scars. The film then shows us Peter Ash, a local businessman and philanthropist, also suffering from albinism. Mr. Ash works to bring Adam to Vancouver for reconstructive surgery. It’s such a compelling film. It’s often tough to watch, as we hear from other albinos and hear their lived in realities, made to feel less than in Tanzania. But it’s an absolutely necessary film, as it sheds light on such terrible tragedy. Without giving away the film, you’re also left terribly hopeful, and one’s spirits are lifted by the sheer bravery, dignity and humanity of the people who have albinism. Vic Sarin is an award-winning director and cinematographer. He’s a filmmaker who’s worked internationally as well as at home here in Canada. Visit www.viff.org for tickets for the screenings. Tomorrow, 28 September 2014 at SFU Woodwards, that’s at 6.30pm. Then two more screenings: Saturday, 04 October 2014 at 1.15pm at the International Village, and Thursday, 09 October 2014 at 10.00am at the Cinematheque. Also visit www.sepiafilms.com for more information. Please welcome back to the Planta: On the Line program, Vic Sarin; Mr. Sarin, good morning.