Documentary - Development 2019

A journey along two iconic rivers exploring the complex diversity of two emerging nations and their people, and the astonishing natural beauty of two continents.

    • Year of production
    • 2019
    • Genres
    • Documentary
    • Countries
    • Languages
    • Budget
    • 1 - 3 M$
    • Director(s)
    • Elias RIBEIRO, Kitso LEILLIOT
    • Writer(s)
    • Elias RIBEIRO, Gustavo NOLASCO, Kitso LEILLIOT
    • Producer(s)
    • Anton BURGRAAF (Ochre Pictures), Elias RIBEIRO (Urucu Media), Rebecca FULLER (Ochre Pictures)
    • Synopsis
    • Two Rivers is the journey down the longest rivers in Brazil and South Africa, the Saint Francis (São Francisco) and the Orange River. These ancient waterways have left their mark on the landscape and the psyche of the people living along their banks. But they also symbolize another journey: a lively and colourful evolution towards an ideal of national unity as they connect vast areas of human and natural life. Told through the eyes of river people, we experience past and present in the textures, ambience and spirit of life along these two natural marvels.
      Through a 13-part television series and contingent online interactive platform, our team of fimmakers, Brazilian and South African, will look beyond the apparent rhetoric of racial democracy in Brazil and the ‘rainbow nation’ of South Africa, telling stories that give life to a tempestuous past. Journeying from river source to river mouth, the series creates a rich account of past and present through the personal chronicles of people who live at strategic points along these giant waterways. This oral storytelling tradition is prevalent in the cultures of both countries and weaves a nuanced account of difference, diversity and stunning contradiction in these two growing powerhouses of ‘the global south’.
      The trans-Atlantic link between Brazil and Africa is historical and dates back many centuries. More recently, since Africa’s shift away from its post-colonial struggles, ties have strengthened – particularly between Brazil and South Africa. The two countries are dominant economies in their respective regions and have similar challenges, like the large gap between rich and poor, which are often felt along racial lines. Both countries are working to address the legacies that have produced these inequalities and are striving for more inclusive societies.
      On a national level, there has been increasing bilateral dialogue through bodies such as IBSA (the India-Brazil-South Africa Dialogue Forum) and BRICS (the association of emerging national economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) – and Brazil inherits the Soccer World Cup from South Africa in 2014. There is also an imminent film co-production treaty between Brazil and South Africa that will allow for increased cooperation and a subsidised production environment. Two Rivers presents an opportunity to celebrate this spirit of a developing south-south, trans-Atlantic relationship and the passion and excitement of two nations celebrating their identity. It also represents a dialogue that respectfully honours a past of shadows but celebrates the potential of a hopeful future.