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Perspective

By Steven Carne, Jul 29 2013 06:26PM

There's nothing like a week on your own as the only White Man in town to make you hyper aware of your skin, your voice, your colour and your general outloook on life being so dfferent. Been in Malawi for just over a week now and it's interesting that there aren't as many Mzungu's in Zomba as there were four years ago.


Nothing that much has changed really in this sleepy -once the Capital - backwater town which has a scruffy charm despite the amber dust that gets everywhere, even inside your underwear. Filming here is no easy task but it's invigorating to say the least. Malawi has no film industry to speak of but when it does start (there are a few young filmmakers in Lilongwe and Blantyre) there are stories here to shock and amaze the world.


I'm here with Purple Field Productions making a drama which started out with the remit to be "a drama to help farmers with new farming techniques to tackle climate change" but has ended up being a gritty hard-hitting drama of modern rural village life in Malawi. As I began to draft the story together after making a farming education film in 2011 I realised that i really couldn't make a farming drama as such because farming is a way of life here - if you dont farm you don't eat - and that a film about farming really is a film about life, it's highs, lows, vicious tragedies and comical characters.


Jonthan Mbuna the Malawian writer will translate the script this week and the world of Mbeu Yosintha (Seeds of Change) comes to life. Chief Nkhoma - a dying man who must try to save his village from starvation, Pilirani who dreams of college despite her poverty and Nachisale the abused wife who must stand up to her drunken husband. It's going to be great. Working with untrained actors and local people in Chichewa I've got my work cut out for me but i love it here and I love these people who despite having NOTHING are smiling, positive, gracious individuals who I am honoured to know.


For more info about PFP go to www.purplefieldproductions.org


Follow me on Twitter @PFPMalawi


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