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Watch 'The Deliverance of Comfort' (Satirical Tale About A 'Child Witch' Named Comfort)

by Courtney
December 6, 2012 8:24 PM
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It's a shame that we're only now discovering the work of British-Nigerian writer, filmmaker Zina Saro-Wiwa (daughter of the late Nigerian human rights activist, Ken Saro-Wiwa).

A few days ago, Tambay posted an excerpt from a documentary project from Zina, titled How Do Africans Kiss?, which was created for the ongoing Progress Of Love exhibit (a collaborative project between The Menil Collection in Houston, the Centre for Contemporary Art (in Lagos, Nigeria), and the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts in St. Louis). You can watch that HERE if you missed it.

We continue to mine her existing oeuvre for past work to share here with you, and become familiar (I may as well say she's on Tambay's Black Filmmakers To Watch/Pay Attention To list).

Here's another experimental piece titled The Deliverance of Comfort - a short satirical tale about a so-called 'child witch' called Comfort.

In the filmmakers own words, here's a longer description, as well as  her thought process in coming up with the film, which I strongly encourage you to first read before watching; or you could read it after you watch, but do read it:

The film begins with the voice of a "priest" explaining how one identifies a child witch and what to do when one is found. The script in this part of the film is derived from a startling recent UNESCO report which contained interviews from several "priests" that exorcised so-called child witches. In the 2nd half of the film we see the consequences of the apparent 'exorcism'. The Deliverance of Comfort is a critical and densely-layered response to the belief in child witches in some parts of rural Nigeria and Africa. The film questions the very nature of belief and comments on the complex relationship between pre-Christian pagan belief and modern day Nigerian Christianity. The relationship between Exu, The Devil, the human spirit and God. Inspired by the low-fi special effects employed in Nigerian Nollywood films especially when the supernatural is being evoked, "The Deliverance of Comfort" uses these same techniques but challenges the conservative and unchanging ideas about the supernatural drawing uncomfortable conclusions. In essence using Nollywood to subvert Nollywood.

I love that she experiments with cinema language and isn't married to convention. It's always good to see black filmmakers working outside of traditional boundaries.

Here's the full 7 1/2-minute experimental short:

The Deliverance of Comfort from ZSW Studio on Vimeo.

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More: Zina Saro-Wiwa

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  • Xi | December 7, 2012 10:41 AMReply

    This was a great way to start my Friday! Wonderfully done! I hope to see more from the creators!

  • naysue | December 6, 2012 10:48 PMReply

    A child witch named Comfort? I like the sounds of that already!

  • No | December 6, 2012 9:51 PMReply

    Interesting, but not particularly impressive. I didn't think that there was anything "experimental" with her "cinema language." Rather, the film was "tied to basic conventions" and very boundary-laden. The fact that you had to read it to "understand" the showed how conventional it was.

  • Mawon | December 7, 2012 10:56 AM

    What is the "purpose" of the "overuse of quotations" in your "comment?" Are you "attempting" sarcasm or trying to be "unconventional?" Or are you "quoting" and outside "source?"

  • Xi | December 7, 2012 10:44 AM

    Actually, if you had to "read to understand", that means it's probably not very conventional...but maybe I don't understand the word conventional.

  • Frances | December 6, 2012 9:11 PMReply

    Love it! Wonderfully playful.

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