English (subtitled), 65 min, 2006, South Africa
When South African filmmaker Rehad Desai travels to the Kalahari to investigate global interest in ancient Bushmen knowledge, he meets Jan van der Westhuizen, a fascinating Khomani San traditional healer. Jan’s struggle to live close to nature is hampered by centuries of colonial exploitation of the San Bushmen and of their land. Unable to hunt and gather, the Khomani now live in a state of poverty that threatens to see the last of this community forever.
One plant could make all the difference. Hoodia, a cactus used by Bushmen for centuries, has caught the attention of a giant pharmaceutical company. It now stands to decide the fate of the Khomani San.
‘Bushman’s Secret’ features breathtaking footage of the Kalahari landscape, and exposes us to a world where modernity collides with ancient ways, at a time when each has, strangely, come to rely on the other.
Silver Dhow at the Zanzibar International Film Festival, 2007;
Jury Prize, Best Documentary, Amazonas Film Festival, Brazil, 2007;
Special Jury Mention for Editing at the Apollo Film Festival, South Africa, 2006;
Also screened at numerous festivals around the world through 2006 and 2007, including:
14th International Environmental Film Festival in Catalonia, Spain, 2007;
10th Brooklyn International Film Festival, 2007;
Green Wave 21st Century European Environment Festival, Bulgaria, 2007;
Documenta Madrid, Spain, 2007;
Athens Film Festival, 2007;
Fribourg Film Festival, Switzerland, 2007;
Pan African Film Festival (PAFF), Los Angeles, 2007;
World Social Forum, Kenya, 2007;
Tri Continental Film Festival, India, 2007;
International Film Festival of Zambia, 2006;
Etnia ry, Finland, 2006;
Encounters, 8th South African Documentary Film Festival, 2006;
Durban International Film Festival, 2006;