Tuesday, September 04, 2007

viff07: we are together

We Are Together
UK, 2006, 86 min, Digibeta(PAL)
In English, Zulu with English subtitles

Directed By: Paul Taylor
Official site

The Agape Orphanage in South Africa is home to children whose parents have died of AIDS. Director Paul Taylor first met 12-year-old Slindile Moya and her brothers and sister, when he volunteered at the orphanage. Over the next three years, Taylor filmed the Moya family as they coped with tragedy (an older brother is diagnosed with AIDS, and the orphanage almost burns to the ground) and triumph (the Agape Choir prepares for a series of concerts in London). Music and family are the twin cornerstones of the children's lives, and in some fashion they are the same thing, or as Slindile says, "Singing makes me think of home, because that was where I learned to sing." Scenes of the choir rehearsing are juxtaposed with those of the Moya children visiting their parents' graves, but despite the almost unbearable sadness of the subject, Taylor's film never strays into easy sentiment, partly because the children's determination and resiliency outshine even the most despairing of circumstances.

Winner of Audience Awards and Special Jury Prizes at the Tribeca Film Festival, the Amnesty International Film Festival, and the One World International Film Festival, the film is partnered with Bono's One Organization, which fights AIDS and extreme poverty, and with Keep A Child Alive. "Paul Taylor's film stands above others in the field for its unsentimental tone and its portraits of strong children in the face of a plague."--Screen International

No comments: