Wesley Shrum

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Brother Time| 55mins
Director: Wesley Shrum | Producer:
Focus Years: | Country: United States
Subject Tags: africa, communication, crime, kenya, peace, politics, violence
Quality Tags: Optimistic, Slow, Activating, Harmonizing
"Brother Time" is the story of two neighbors whose friendship turns to conflict as ethnic passions threaten to engulf them. After the last presidential election, Kenya erupted in ethnic violence. Most of the 1,500 killed lived in the Rift Valley, where members of different groups had lived peacefully. The title comes from a phrase uttered by the main character, whose neighbor took up arms against him: "as Christians, we say all men are brothers. But now is not the Brother Time." That chilling thought was the inspiration for the film. Filmed during and immediately after the election, the roots of tribal conflict are explored during a journey through the Rift Valley. The film is entirely narrated by Africans who witnessed the events known in Kenya as "the clashes." The political and social causes of violence are revealed through Wainaina, who saw the worst of the conflict. As he returns home to see his neighbor, he wonders: can they ever live side by side again? This personal narrative links seven sequences of the movie. Thomas, the neighbor, is never seen in frontal view until the final sequence, when he tells his own story. In the final scene, they shake hands as their two young sons eye each other warily. To be released during the 2012 election campaign, this message of hope shows it can be Brother Time once again.

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Wesley Shrum

United States


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