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September 4, 2015
There is a chilling image at the end of this short clip of a Somali child wielding an AK-47, hand-fashioned from wire, which mirrors an image Dan captured of a starving boy holding a similar toy gun back in 1993. Watch how our director, Bronwen Hughes, rehearses Ben Schnetzer, playing Dan, and a babble of young actors before a lovely scene that captures the playful nature of Dan’s relationship with the children. Yesterday we shot in a Somali area of Joburg, where I met a mother of 12 children, six of whom had been raped after arriving in South Africa. Another woman wept in my arms as she described how she had lost her husband, mother and father in a raid by Al Shabab in Kismaya in 2004, and a young man explained how he been kicked out of four countries after escaping with only the clothes on his back following a raid by Islamic Insurgents a few years ago.My heart went out to the Somalis, whose opportunities are severely limited in South Africa, a country that is unfortunately known for its zenophobic attitudes towards foreigners, even refugees from oppressive countries. At one point, a cluster of Somali women, all with their faces covered, surrounded me. One after one, they peeled back their scarves, giggling at my delighted response. Most said they didn’t want to wear veils that, in some cases, made it almost impossible to speak, but their husbands insisted on it. According to my Somali friends, back in 1993, almost no one was veiled. As much as we would like to have the costumes in our film historically accurate, the women are afraid to be seen unveiled. Today we will make a plan for how we can help a Somali refugee center in Joburg. I’ll let you know more!
Posted by Kathy Eldon on Friday, September 4, 2015