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Who has the privilege of documentary filmmaking?

Posted by Ashley on 9/15/2020 to News

"A multi-layered film with fantastic characters whom we get to know intimately in the most genuine way[...]An important contribution to the crucial discussion about Western filmmaking and neocolonialism..."

— Movies That Matter Jury Report

It's a familiar story: a filmmaker from Europe with the best of intentions goes to make a film showing the hard realities of a formerly colonized African nation, and hires a local crew. But what happens when the crew pushes back on the filmmaker's assumptions and colonialist history? This is the scenario at the heart of Stop Filming Us, which asks if a Western filmmaker is able to present anything of truth about the Democratic Republic of Congo through his lens.

The film reveals how Western notions of African countries is wrapped up in colonialism, and how aid projects continue to perpetuate a stark power imbalance. At a time when new attention is being paid to who has access to storytelling and how communities deserve to tell their stories in their own way, Stop Filming Us is an essential treatise on authorship.

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