Traditional filmmaking gets a makeover in response to Covid-19

Monday June 8 2020

Films

Musicians, and a few comedians, have gradually embraced online platforms to showcase their work, but now, independent film makers are also hoping to use the same media. PHOTO ~ FILE  

ANDREW I KAZIBWE
By ANDREW I KAZIBWE
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Musicians, and a few comedians, have gradually embraced online platforms to showcase their work, but now, independent film makers are also hoping to use the same media.

The Day After Tomorrow is a three-minute- 33 second poetic documentary which recently first premiered on Instagram, then got on YouTube, that more viewers are learning of it.

Written and designed by Olibra Twagi, Libens Ngabonziza and Babou Daxx, it is novel venture into poetic documentary, something Rwanda has not ventured into before.

It is evident the film was shot during the pre-Covid-19 lockdown and takes one to the lifestyle of urban street people.

It starts with daybreak as one gets up in pursuit of the day’s possibilities. This includes children in uniform seen setting off to school.

The short film takes us into the countryside. It brings out childhood socializing playing football, skipping rope on the dusty street, as passersby carry on with their activities like travel and fetching water typical of homesteads.

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And as images of activities flip past, the narration by Casimir Yasipi, takes hold of our attention. He guides the viewer through what normal social life once was from the innocence of children to the older generation.

He narrates the joyous excitement of facial interactions in the course of daily chores like gardening, food preparation and onto nightfall, when calm descends.

The film shows how advancement of modernity has been embraced in the rural setting.

Now, electricity is used for study, entertainment through television and other purposes, which is described as a new culture, "where whole world is encaged under a single roofing; a new beginning to transformation."

Global upheaval

The film recognises this step that modernity and electric lighting has ushered in, but cautions about the future; especially the form of passing on present day stories to posterity.

The Day After Tomorrow does not capture or reveal anything of the present day lockdown times, but the narration contemplates what other upheavals the world is going through as it hurtles towards modernity.

‘Welcome to a new era of change and adaption. Fighting a battle with an invisible enemy, where all faces are hidden behind masks — not as criminals, rather as life survivors and life protectors."

Being their debut film, it is a promising breed of new filmmakers in Rwanda, away from the shared scripts about the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi, to telling of the country’s other invisible concerns that life throws our way.