TALL AS THE BAOBAB TREE is a film that challenges people no matter where they live.Tomorrow I’m flying 12 hours from New York City to Doha, Qatar for our MENA premiere at the 2012 Doha-Tribeca Film Festival. What I’m most excited about is the opportunity to screen the film publicly with audiences in this part of the world.
Our story, performances, and pacing are all designed to convey the rhythms and essence of life in a rural African village, where meals are cooked over open fires and water is drawn from wells. TALL AS THE BAOBAB TREE’s simplicity presents a stark contrast to the complexities of our lives in the developed world.
While directing this movie, I carefully avoided the fast-paced drama of Hollywood films and the sensationalist, tear-jerking clichés that many people have come to associate with mainstream African cinema. TALL AS THE BAOBAB TREE is a movie that is fundamentally different from mainstream cinema—it “breaks” conventional movie structure and pacing in order to truly capture the heart and soul of village life during a time when ancient traditions are conflicting with modern society for the first time.