Forest of Crocodiles

Mark Aitken. 2010. South Africa, United Kingdom (Great Britain). vo English. 52’

v English

In January 2008 the filmaker visited his mother in SA and he found the whiterural community she lives in very pessimistic about the future andin particular being ruled by an African government. Then the firstnational power cuts started – serving as the perfect metaphor forthem being plunged into African darkness. He set out to make a film about their fears and how they dealt with them. The crocodile served as a good metaphor – a reptile that stopped evolving but still survives. Along my journey, I discovered many different types of crocodiles and was amazed to find people who had embraced their fears and overcome them – finally offering some hope for future harmony in this troubled country.

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.