At Rainbow's End


Bold colours are quintessential East Africa. Lush green vegetation, deep red earth, and today, a small cloud of neon blue buzzing around the outskirts of Bujumbura. The T-shirts donated by The Sam Group in Ottawa are both a hit with the students and a great way to track them. Luckily, that task was a lot easier with the most organized group the BFC has had yet.


A detailed shot list and realistic shooting schedule gave us some creative flexibility instead of rushing and worrying all day. Of course, there’s always a trade-up in life, and yesterday’s stars were sorely missed as we coached our 78-year-old lead actor through a painfully foreign process of multiple set-ups and line repetitions. He soldiered on though, often ad-libbing lines to the mixed frustration and amusement of the students.


The film is based on the true story of a man who fled to Tanzania in 1972 after coming home to find his wife and daughter murdered. He left grabbing nothing but a single spear for protection, and returned to Burundi last year the same way. It’s a timely topic and important metaphor I’m glad we’ll be exploring. It’s also the first time we’ll be shooting in HD, since one of the students wanted to use a camera he was familiar with and had access to. I took the opportunity to let him play to his comforts and actually appreciated being able to take a more hands-off approach to teaching.


By sundown, I was also to happy to see how well the camera worked in low-light. In a home with no electricity or running water, we needed every advantage we could get to maintain some mood and quality to the images. The drab colours in a small concrete room are certainly the antithesis of the vibrancy outside, but their somber details tell an equally important story about life over here.

Christopher Redmond