Stop Filming Us (55 Minute Version)
Catalogue Number: TVP083
Producer: Video Project, Inc.
Subject: Canadian World Studies, Documentary, Family Studies/Home Economics, Media and Communications, Social Sciences, Social Studies, Sociology
Grade Level: 9 - 12, Adult
Country Of Origin: United States
Copyright Year: 2019
Running Time: 54:28
Can a Western filmmaker show anything of truth about the Democratic Republic of Congo? Or do their 'good intentions' only cause destruction and frustration? Three young artists from Goma resist the one-sided reporting that only reflect stereotypical images of war, violence, illness, and poverty — all results of years of Western domination.
Journalist Ley Uwera, photographer Mugabo Baritegera, and filmmaker Bernadette Vivuya struggle to showcase their own experiences of life in Goma where the typical portrait of a non-functioning government along with a helpless population fit into the narrative driven by the 250 Western NGOs that dominate the local economy. Mugabo tries to show the beauty of life in the city while Bernadette attempts to finance a film about her vision of Goma's colonial past. Meanwhile, Ley works for a Western NGO and is constantly caught in an ideological battle to either work for the well-paid Western organization who inserts their own slant on a story or to work as an unpaid freelance reporter with more freedom to air her own opinions.
The question then arises of whether a Western filmmaker can capture anything approaching truth about this complex country. Is the filmmaker part of the 'white savior complex'? Director Joris Postema grapples with these issues as he enters into open confrontations with the three local artists in his own attempt to bring mutual assumptions to the surface. The prejudices provide a deeper insight into the inequality of power that lies under the mechanism of Western imaging.
** Program not available for sale to Post Secondary institutions. **
"Story about young artists in Goma fighting against the prevailing Western reporting on war and misery, the film investigates to what extent Western stereotyping is the result of a skewed balance of power. Cinematic dialogue between Western conceptions and the Congolese perception of reality." — IDFA
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