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White Shadow

The African boy Alias is albino and is persecuted because of his skin color. WHITE SHADOW is above all an escape story, an endless fight for survival and running away from danger and persecution, only broken by short moments of quiet where Alias can ...

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As developed and modern as African cities are, in rural regions there still exists an extreme form of local superstition that targets those who appear to “deviate" from the norm. WHITE SHADOW concerns itself with this issue. The first feature-length film by the Berlin-based Israeli filmmaker Noaz Desche, who just won the main prize at the newly founded film festival in Potsdam, tells the story of Alias, an albino. In East Africa albinos belong to a visible minority hunted and killed for the their body parts believed by witch doctors to have mystical properties. Above all WHITE SHADOW is a story about escape, a never-ending flee from danger and persecution, interrupted by small moments of peace in which Alias can experience some sense of normality. The images Desche creates with his cameraman Armin Dierolf are expressive, multi-coloured, with extreme contrasts, often violent and bloody and not least of all sensational. As acute as the problem of persecuted albinos is -- and as honorable as Desche’s intentions are -- in the end WHITE SHADOWS is another western film about Africa that wallows in misery and social wrongs. Instead of focusing on one African country, a universal “Africa” is shown and points to the problem of portraying a one-sided and suspect picture of the continent.

Michael Meyns

Credits

Deutschland/USA/Italien/Tansania 2013, 115 min
Language: Swahili
Genre: Drama
Director: Noaz Deshe
Author: Noaz Deshe, James Masson
DOP: Armin Dierolf, Noaz Deshe
Montage: Nico Leunen, Robin Hill, Xavier Box, Noaz Deshe
Music: Noaz Deshe, James Masson
Distributor: temperclayfilm production & distribution GbR
Cast: Hamisi Bazili, Salum Abdallah, Riziki Ally, James Gayo, Glory Mbayuwayu, John S. Mwakipunda, Tito D. Ntanga, James P. Salala
Release: 06.11.2014

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