A Tale of Two African Cities
Copyright © 2006 riceNpeas
UPDATE: 1st March 2006
A Tale of Two African Cities is the latest project currently in production by Rice N Peas Films. Set in both Liberia and Sierra Leone, the documentary will examine the effects of war, poverty and corruption on the African people from their own perspective.
Four weeks into production in Sierra Leone and I have already been arrested twice, my last charge being Subversive Activities: trying to destablise the government. I had accompanied a couple of diamond dealers on a mission to buy diamonds from the former rebel stronghold of Tongo. No sooner had we arrived than our vehicle was descended upon by scores of local miners all desperate to sell their diamonds, some worth thousands of dollars. After twenty minutes of this buying frenzy, we were duly apprehended by the security forces. The diamond dealers were charged with buying illegal diamonds and I was slapped with the aforementioned charge.
I have since interviewed Militia Leaders and Rebel Leaders in order to gain an understanding of why the war began; I have also interviewed the unfortunate victims of war in an effort to understand its impact.
intervention in times of peace to prevent war is less costly both for themselves and the international populations they purport to represent. I plan on raising these issues when I interview Victor Angelo, the UN representative currently in charge of operations in Sierra Leone. As each day passes and more material is gathered, it seems more and more likely that the working title, A Tale of Two African Cities, will have to go. Currently I am toying with Waiting for Democracy or Coup, Democracy, Coup, which I believe sounds a little harsh, no matter how true it may appear.
Whilst filming with one of the opposition party leaders, who was in the process of explaining political intimidation, a retinue of police officers arrived with an arrest warrant. He was duly carted off to court mid-interview where hundreds of his supporters converged and demanded his release.
The scale of poverty in the country is heart wrenching; most people live without electricity, running water and absolutely no provisions for sanitation. Open sewers and cesspools litter the city and preventable diseases such as cholera are widespread. The people are beginning to demand a timetable for development, questions both the government and the opposition parties seem unable to properly answer. It appears the UN have abandoned this country prematurely. We all heard how the UN mission to Sierra Leone was
After my release from custody
the largest and most expensive in the UN's history, 17,500 troops etc... however, it begs the question: how can they make such international announcements, leave the country without so much as a progress report delivered to the world, and abandon the country to the very conditions which created the war in the first place? No electricity, running water, or sanitation, and high unemployment. The UN needs to learn that
If you would like to know more about this project, or if you wish to communicate with Ishmahil whilst he is in the field, send mail to: exposure@riceNpeas.com