Announced by the Berlinale earlier this morning, 15 feature films that were produced and co-produced in 12 countries that have been invited to compete in the Generation Kplus and Generation 14plus categories of the 2013 Berlin International Film Festival.
One of the 12 is a feature documentary titled Tough Bond, by directors Austin Peck and Anneliese Vandenberg, which is described as follows:
Intimate documentary images and a radically honest look at Kenyan society. When cultural and family ties no longer exist, homeless children find comfort in sniffing glue. Tough Bond is a feature length documentary film about our irrepressible need as humans for family- no matter how tough it may be. We follow 4 kids who find family and a new identity as "Survivors", living together on the streets of Kenya, huffing glue to endure the hell of street life.
My usual immediate reaction to films like this about African countries isn't exactly to embrace them; I tend to shy away from any new films that look like they tell the usual stories of either war or famine within the continent, all fitting under the "problems of Africa" umbrella.
I feel like we've seen a lot and enough of those, and could use some balance.
Not to disparage the filmmakers. This is obviously something that they are interesting in and passionate about, and it's a topic that's very real and worthy of coverage. I'm just sharing my honest reactions.
All that said, I'm still definitely curious to see the film in full; this glue-sniffing *phenomenon* by homeless Kenyan kids isn't something that I'm very familiar with (we've certainly heard of similar occurrences here in the USA), so I'm sure there's an education in it for me.
It's making its world premiere at the Berlinale in February 2013, and will likely travel afterward. So we'll keep tabs on it, and update you along the way.
I hope to have a rep at Berlin next year to get us some coverage.
Watch the preview trailer for Tough Bond: