My Hunter’s Heart, the documentary feature film that focuses on the plight of the Khomani San people will be broadcast on SABC 3 on Saturday, 21 April 2012 at 9:35pm. The film is directed by the highly acclaimed sibling team, the brothers Craig and Damon Foster, who also produced the film with Anant Singh and Helena Spring. Music was especially composed for the film by the multi-award winning Trevor Jones.
My Hunter’s Heart, shot over three and a half years, explores the world’s most ancient shamanic culture which is severely threatened as their traditional way of life and skills have been taken away from them. It tracks the Khomani San of the Southern Kalahari, the oldest living indigenous tribe in the world, who are genetically linked to every human being on Planet Earth. In modern times, their traditional nomadic way of life has changed and westernisation has severed their link to the land and the animals. The film follows younger members of the clan, /Urugap and his family, as they embark on an epic journey to try to recapture some of the knowledge and skills of their ancestors.
Commenting on the television broadcast, co-directors, Craig and Damon Foster said, “My Hunter’s Heart begins another exciting journey with its South African broadcast on South African television. We hope this opportunity will bring the wisdom, fragility and hope of the Khomani San into the living rooms of many more South Africans. For us, the film is a record of an extraordinary time in history, the end of the only time when people and nature co-existed in balance for over 80,000 years. Today we humans as a species face some of the greatest challenges with dwindling natural resources and climate change and yet under the skin we are all still hunter gatherers. That is our blue print and a few thousand years of agriculture and industrialisation cannot change that and as filmmakers working with the San, we felt that so clearly; that ancient connection. We can’t be hunters again but we can remember and redevelop the reciprocity with nature that they personified….a reciprocity that is crucial to our continued survival on this planet and its bio diversity.”
In the film, the main character /Urugap describes a 50/50 existence, one half with the strength to uphold the old way, the other half seduced by the western ways. His quest is really a metaphor for the greater quest of human survival. The destruction of the Khomani culture is very stark and horrific, more so because it has happened in modern times during which it has been destroyed by ‘civilised’ society – people who have forgotten the history of the human race, and this has resulted in the loss of man’s deep connection to nature and to the spiritual realm.
Professor Emeritus at the University of the Witwatersrand, Phillip Tobias a leading world authority on the evolution of humankind who is best known for his pioneering work at South Africa’s famous hominid fossil sites said, “I am not one of those who speak of the disappearing Bushmen or the vanishing San. No, the people as such are not dying out; it is their culture that is on the wane.My Hunter’s Heart is thus a timeous memorial of some phases of their culture, tastefully and movingly recorded for all time. The film avoids the trap of looking in upon a people on display, as they were at the British Empire Exhibition in Johannesburg 75 years ago. Instead, it empathises with them in their struggle to save the dwindling remnants of their hunting and gathering culture. The viewers will find themselves as participants with the San in their quest to cherish and save this precious remnant of their erstwhile key to survival.”
“We are delighted that My Hunter’s Heart will have its television premiere on 21 April, in the week we celebrate the 18th anniversary of our democracy,” said producer, Anant Singh. “Whilst we have achieved freedom, the Khomani San are still captives in a society that has a western bias. The film provides a window into their lives, their plight and how their ancient culture and traditions have been systematically destroyed. The film is an important record of a people trying to preserve their heritage while living in the midst of modern society. We were fortunate to have had unprecedented access to the young members of the tribe who embarked on a journey to connect with nature in an effort to preserve their rich culture and traditions.”
“SABC3 is proud to screen My Hunter’s Heart, which is a gesture that best exemplifies the channel’s philosophy of provision of content that entertains as well as empowers our viewers,“ said Lefa Afrika, Programme Manager SABC3.
My Hunter’s Heart is a Foster Brother Film in association with Videovision Entertainment, Foster Brother Film Productions, Creative Films, The Department of Trade and Industry South Africa and The National Film and Video Foundation of South Africa. Narration is by Sello Maake ka Ncube and Faith Ndakwana with Original Music by Trevor Jones. It is produced by Craig and Damon Foster, Anant Singh and Helena Spring, Executive Produced by Sudhir Pragjee and Sanjeev Singh; Written and Directed by Craig and Damon Foster.