Selections from the HRWIFF
In The Shadow of the Sun
dir. Harry Freeland, UK/Tanzania, 2012, digital, Swahili w/ English subtitles, 84min.
In Conjunction with Human Rights Watch International Film Festival and the Greenfield Intercultural Centers at the University of Pennsylvania Presents:
Filmed over six years, In the Shadow of the Sun tells the story of two men with albinism in Tanzania pursuing their dreams in the face of virulent prejudice. In the midst of an escalation in brutal murders of people with albinism, we meet Josephat Torner. Josephat decides to confront the communities where the killings are taking place saying, “I need to change society so it can accept me.” Along the way, he visits Ukerewe Island. He finds 62 people with albinism living there, including 15-year-old Vedastus. Vedastus, whose mother was told to kill him when he was born, has been bullied out of school and rejected by his community. But Vedastus dreams of returning to get an education. Dedicating his life to campaigning against this sort of discrimination against people with albinism–segregated from society and deprived of education–Josephat becomes a mentor to Vedastus. Through his intimate portrait of Vedastus and Josephat, filmmaker Harry Freeland reveals a story of deep-rooted superstition, heartfelt suffering, and incredible strength. Official Selection International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam 2012.