GENDER RESEARCH & ADVOCACY PROJECT
In 2009 GR&AP received funding from the Royal Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs to make three films over a period of 2.5 years. The first of the three films is about alternatives to corporal punishment. The second film will be about relationships and third film will be about maintenance.
A film about maintenance
More details coming soon
Ombetja Yehinga Organisation (OYO) and the Legal Assistance Centre have embarked on a new project titled ‘Think Twice’. Two stories have been devised ‘Sex and Chocolate’ and one still untitled. Both stories aim at making people reflect on the consequences our actions can have on our lives.
Sex and Chocolate’ looks at four students at the university of Namibia. While Kandi and Peter share a healthy loving relationship, Kandi’s friend, Lucy, finds herself confronted to a dilemma. She is deeply in love with David but comes to know that he has a girlfriend, Sharon. Will she stay in the relationship, knowing she will always be number 2, or will she move out of the relationship?
The other story looks at the lives of three learners about to finish school. Sylvia is deeply unhappy at home, especially since her mother took on drinking and beating both her and her dad. At school, she meets with Tony, a shy learner who feel pressurised to have a girlfriend. They start a relationship and are happy with one another. Yet, other learners try to convince them to have sex. When Tony finally finds the courage to ask her to have sex with him, Sylvia doesn’t know what to do. Will she accept his offer or will she break up with him?
The stories each have two endings, depending on the choices made by the protagonists. They are acted by Norman Kapunda (‘the Namibian Odysseus’, ‘we were young’), West Uarije, Dennis Kharuchab and El Juanita Philander (all members of the OYO dance troupe) and newcomers Ester Leopold, JessicaAugustus and Ellion Howaseb. The plays are directed by Philippe Talavera, with Nyandee Mbarandongo as assistant director.
The plays will tour Windhoek (15 to 17 September), the Kavango region (20 to 25 September) and the Ohangwena region (26 September to 02 October). They will then be recorded as films.
Director and Producer (OYO): Philippe Talavera
Producers (LAC): Dianne Hubbard and Rachel Coomer
Assistant Director: Nyandee Mbarandongo
Actors: Norman Kapunda (‘the Namibian Odysseus’, ‘we were young’), Ellion Howoseb , Jessica Augustus, Dennis Kharuchab, El-Juanita Philander, Ester Leopord and West Uarije (member of the well-known local band Bullet).
See the OYO website for more details: http://www.ombetja.org/
A Betta Way
The filmcentres around Paulus, a likable rogue. Paulus and his friends are subjected to almost daily beatings at school and beatings at home. Following a particularly excessive beating, Paulus comes across a comic book about alternatives to corporal punishment and learns that there are other methods to discipline children. Paulus decides that it is time for change in his community and sets out to alter the attitudes of his teachers and his family. Paulus challenges the norms of his community in a daring attempt to change their opinions and in the humorous events that follow, the audience learns that there are better methods for disciplining children. But will Paulus’ plan to change the attitudes of his community work, or will he just get one more beating for his troubles?
The film has been produced in English, Nama/Damara, Oshiherero and Oshiwambo and is available for purchase for N$90. Please contact Grace Kapere.
Read our reports on the making of the film and on our Lunchbox Theatre outreach programme.
GR&AP has a long history of producing films. A synopsis of our other films are shown below:
Whispers in the wind (English, 1hr 15min)
Whispers in the Wind is a film about a Namibian family who experience serious and subtle forms of domestic violence. The step-father, a long-distance truck driver subjects his wife and two children to many different forms of domestic violence. The film ties the theme of domestic violence to the issues of child abuse and HIV/AIDS. A young girl is raped by her promiscuous step-father. She becomes pregnant and discovers that she is HIV positive. Her mother has also been infected. A strong dramatic element is included as the film reveals the fact that the step-father is the culprit only in the closing moments. The responsibility of the churches to speak out about HIV is a powerful strong sub-theme in the film.One scene shows how difficult it can be for women to negotiate condom use in a context of violence, while other scenes portray more subtle forms of child abuse – such as belittling children, neglecting children, and favouring male children over female children in the allocation of food. The film this portrays a spectrum of child abuse from widespread forms of maltreatment to extremely serious abuse in the form of rape.
Love & Respect (English, 47 min)
Love and Respect is a film about relationships in Namibia. The story centres around two couples. In the first relationship the male partner is jealous of one of his girlfriend’s work colleagues. The story progresses to show the girlfriend being harassed by the work colleague and nearly raped. Due to the absence of love and respect in her relationship with her boyfriend, she had not felt able to speak out about the problems she experienced at work. In the second relationship, the male partner is unemployed and this is a catalyst for abuse in the relationship. The culmination of the abuse is when he forces his girlfriend to shoplift, only for her to be caught and arrested. This outcome shocks him into realising the problems in their relationships and he starts to address his problems. Both relationships feature dramatic events which serve as turning points in the relationships. The aim of the film is to show that a number of factors – including the presence or absence of love and respect in a relationship – are important to reduce situations of domestic violence and misunderstandings in relationships.
The film has been produced in English, Afrikaans, Oshiherero, Oshiwambo and Nama/Damara.
Not a life you ask for (English, 40 min)
Not a life you ask for is a documentary on sex workers in Namibia. The film includes a discussion about the violence they experience and the impact their work has on their lives. Sex workers, pastors and a government official are interviewed.
As part of a Child Maintenance Campaign launched in 1998-99, GR&AP produced six 'commercial-length' television spots aimed at fathers. These 'shorts' were launched at the National Art Gallery in March 1999 and were well-received, stimulating lots of discussion and debate. NBC aired them frequently. A video containing all six spots was distributed to NGOs and others for use in workshops. In October 1999, these television spots won a prestigious Gecko advertising award, surpassing 11 other entries.
In 2006 GR&AP produced training videos on rape, domestic violence and maintenance for magistrates, prosecutors, maintenance officers and clerks of court. The videos were later converted to DVD. Each has an accompanying training guide with questions and answers to test the viewer’s knowledge. Copies of the videos and the DVDs have been distributed to all courts in Namibia.