A DVD featuring four short films was launched by Raising Voices at Cineplex Cinema, Garden City, on December 16. The films were made by two local film makers and a French video artist based in Uganda. Raising Voices, which works against child and women abuse, hopes to use the films to raise awareness on its advocacy concerns.
The films document four stories told from children’s perspectives. Will You be My Mother (18 minutes), directed by Cyril Ducottet, tells of a child who’s mistreated by his step-mother.
When his father remarried, Deno was happy, thinking that he now had the mother he had pined for all along. He was wrong; each time his father mistreated her, she took out her anger on the little boy.
The two Ugandan directors are Irene Kulabako and George Sengendo. Kulabako has two films on the DVD, My Sweat, Whose Gain? and I forgive you. The first questions the allocations of returns from child labour; why aren’t children appropriately remunerated for the work they are forced to do, especially for their families?
“How will they learn the value of hard work and patience if nothing they do is of benefit to them?” asks a plurb on the DVD. George Sengendo’s feature, Not My Body, explores an exploitative relationship between a young girl and her uncle. He picks her from the village and takes her to the city, where he’s supposed to take her to a good school, but instead ends up making sexual advances towards her.
The production in the movies however is wanting, which is understandable; these are agenda-based features, shot to tell a story not to meet some aesthetic criteria.
At the end of the day, it’s about the message.