In the Shadow of the Sun
In the African nation of Tanzania, home to approximately 170,000 people who could be classified as albino, having an off colour pigment could be deadly. Not only do these people have to deal with the kind of teasing and potential for bodily harm that goes hand in hand with narrow minded racism across the world, they are also hunted for a perceived profit that doesn’t exist. Witch doctors spread rumours that possessing any body part from an albino would bring untold riches. Albinos are murdered and dismembered with alarming regularity – something even local media deems as a blight on the country – and it’s so bad that even when one is murdered they often have to be buried in concrete encased graves with constant security to stave off grave robbers that would just as readily break through the graves for a chance at “riches.”
Shot over the course of six years, director Harry Freeland follows community leaders as they try with all their might to foster a greater understanding within the country all while living every day of their lives in constant fear and rejection for a sizable portion of the population. It’s the kind of story that people don’t want to believe can still happen in the world, but that sadly happens more than is often taken notice of. It’s harrowing, sickening, and depressing often at the best of times, but it’s also an extremely vital portrait of a population in desperate need of help and compassion.
Friday, February 28th, 6:30pm, TIFF Bell Lightbox