Forest of Crocodiles is a new fifty-two minute documentary film by Mark Aitken. The film is currently being screened at international festivals and is being broadcast on BBC World, TV3 in Spain, the Documentary Channel in New Zealand, RTP, Portugal and MNET, South Africa.
A cut down 20 min sensationalized version was broadcast on national Dutch TV in April 2010, causing a lot of discussion. You can view the trailer here or view the full version by clicking here
‘One of the most refreshing docs to have emerged from South Africa in years’ Journeyman Pictures
What choices do white South Africans make when addressing their fears of crime and violence? Some are well resourced while others are ingeniously resourceful. The consequences are regression and isolation or freedom from fear.
Like crocodiles, fearful and well-resourced people can survive without evolving. But some people refuse to submit to their fears. For them, the future is an unknown country to be explored.
How does this divided community co-exist? These people are being pushed to the limits of their imaginations. To understand them is to feel their fears and walk in a forest of unknown things.
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On Wednesday 6th April Forest of Crocodiles was screened in south London at the Roots and Shoots Cinema. We raised £165 and all proceeds will go towards building a new community hall in Sunrise Park township.
Here’s a message from Johannes Kelber, the pastor who appears in the film.
Its always important to state the reason for using any donation especially in South Africa.
For those who know S.A. you will realize that our African friends tend to associate in small groups, communities. Even with modern transport today the daily and weekly life is lived in a village setup. Even in big cities people asociate with their own group of different cultures and interests. If you really want to get close to them you must get to know such a group starting with the leaders.
Building a huge hall with the idea to reach as many people at the same time on a regular basis does not work here, especially in Rustenburg.
That is why even great church groups exsist in many smaller “church” groups with their own leaders. My church, the Uniting Reformed Church of Southern Africa for example consits of 20 such groups each trying to be accomodated in some form of structure.
The specific town ship called Sunrise Park, has ‘n group of about 50 to 80 members old and young. They have been given a site by the local municipality and have alreadu erected a corrugated building 8 x 5 meters. They have received a donation from a builder, of 15 000 bricks. We expect them to get their own builder whom they must pay etc. etc. We have a idiom which says Mphe, mphe e a lapisa. Motho o kgona ke tsa gagwe. Translated: Being asked give me give,me, makes us tired. A person succeeds with what he has. So we expect them to do a much as they can. And it does work !
It will basically be a building for worshiping BUT in our communities theirs a great need for recreational & educational facilities. Therefor it will be used by the women and especially the youth who organize activities that willl keep them out of mischief.
Forest of Crocodiles has been accepted into the prestigious Observatory Archives in Barcelona, Spain. The programmers working with the archives offer a selection of documentaries for screenings around the world each year. Their archive may also be accessed for study and consultation purposes.
The film will be broadcast on MNET on March 14th at 10.30pm and on March 15th at 11pm.
On Wednesday 23 February, Dr Penzhorn, the owner of the crocodile farm in Kroondal where we shot our crocodile scenes, died tragically after falling into one of the pools inhabited by the reptiles. Dr Penzhorn was very generous when allowing us to shoot on his farm and we were sad to hear that his life ended in this way.
In association with London based arts radio station Resonance 104.4 fm, Forest of Crocodiles will be streamed on the Resovision channel at Frieze Art Fair from the 14th – 17th October 2010.
Frieze Art Fair takes place every October in Regent’s Park, London. The fair showcases new and established artists to an international audience.
Forest of Crocodiles is screening at the Beeld voor Beeld festival in Bogotá, Colombia, October 11th – 16th. Director Mark Aitken is attending the screening and running documentary workshops with local film makers.
Beeld voor Beeld in Bogotá is the touring version of the festival held in Amsterdam in April. This year there’s a centrepiece programme of South African work including great films by François Verster and Saskia Vredeveld.
We’re proud to announce our first festival screening in South Africa in the city where the director used to live. Try and catch the film on the big screen with the atmosphere of a local audience and hopefully some discussion afterwards.
The Tri-Continental Film Festival is screening Forest of Crocodiles on:
Sat 2.10 at 4pm – Maponya Mall, Soweto
Sun 3.10 at 2pm – Rosebank Nouveau
Sun 10.10 at 16.15 – Rosebank Nouveau