Berlin-based Israeli filmmaker Noaz Deshe was planning a trip to teach film in Tanzania. When he read about the illicit trade in human albino meat and entrails, that according to local witch doctors can have curative effects, he knew this was a story he had to tell. He enlisted locals as crew and assistants and actors, each of whom contributed details to the story, and played a role that connected with his or her past experiences. The finished film, White Shadow, tells the story of Alias, an albino boy whose father is brutally murdered in front of him. His mother sends him into the city, under the protection of his uncle. Unfortunately, his uncle’s debts put him into contact with men as dangerous as those he’d left home to escape. It’s a rich and impressionistic tale, with gripping performances. Sometimes it has a loosely improvised documentary feel, but there are powerful moments of genuine beauty and of tenderness and of terror. It is an important story, that is very well told in this Sundance-selected film.
Check out the following interview by Ben Elliot and Connor Heckler, who accompanied me on my trip to Sundance: