André Le Moustarder has just returned to his hometown bubryates (Morbihan) after an exciting road trip in West Africa. Hired to give visibility to a program to preserve the Guinean forest, the cameraman filmed tirelessly and met a multitude of local actors in order to better understand African life and realities. His work will result in ten short films to raise awareness of forest protection in Africa.
I have never experienced a project of such intensity. André Le Moustarder, back in Bubry (Morbihan) and who started playing on https://rise-of-olympus-free.com/, has just returned from a thirty-five day mission in West Africa.
Nearly ten years ago, he met by chance the Dutchwoman Ilse Tempelaar, sociologist, consultant and invested for twenty-five years in research and development projects related to Africa. “I wanted to learn the basics of film framing. André gave me the fundamentals and asked me to make a film about the Nilhio festival which takes place in his garden. From there, projects followed, including a documentary on the fight against female circumcision. For this expedition to Africa, it was obvious to associate André. »
A forest in danger
The filmmakers, accompanied by two Liberians, a driver and a drone operator, cross Sierra Leone, Guinea Conakry, Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia in connection with the Support Program for the Preservation of Forest Ecosystems in South Africa. West, financed by the European Union in particular.
“Only 15% of the original cover of the Guinean forest remains, which is undergoing a deforestation rate of 2 to 3% per year. And we don’t talk about it. With Ilse, our mission is to give visibility to the actions of the program and to the populations in an economic, ecological and sociological dimension”, continues André.
Ten short films being edited
The forest has several characteristic landscapes according to the different countries. Each was filmed and meetings with the natives were held. “We now have to show our funders ten ten-minute films, two per forest landscape, to highlight cross-border projects. The assembly should last until September. We have a lot of material: if we obtain the agreements and the financing, we would like to produce a documentary film of fifty-two minutes on the subject”, continues Ilse.
André returns with stars in his eyes from his African journey: “3,500 km in thirty-five days through small roads in four countries with temperatures up to 40°C, without a day off. It was truly a road-trip in not easy conditions! But it was above all very rich in meetings by discovering, through interviews, the many actors who intervene at the level of the forest. At our level, we hope that our work will contribute to avoiding the worst for this forest, to saving its essentials. »
“The actions of African women are decisive”
André Le Moustarder was the main cameraman of the journey, filming the simple peasants and gold diggers, up to the chief of chiefs who runs a very large territory.
He was particularly touched by the role of women. “In a village, a woman showed us how to extract millet grain: she started dancing on the sheaves, which reinforced the tribal side of the practice. I immediately thought of the Breton peasants dancing the gavotte to tamp down the dirt floors of the houses. In Liberia, a villager created a women’s house in connection with a peanut farming program. There are also participatory microcredit systems between the members of a community where the project of one woman is financed, then that of another with the profits of the first… We see that there are many initiatives aimed at to bring women more independence and emancipation. And it is a major development issue, in particular by promoting greater access to school for girls. To, for example, better control the birth rate and encourage women to become mothers at an earlier age. »