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Out of Eden

Short documentary, 2001, 50 min.

In March 1999, the South African president Thabo Mbeki signed the agreement that allotted the San - or Bushmen - 40,000 hectares of land, south of Kalahari National Park. `And precisely on that day', Dawid Kruiper, leader of the Khomani Bushmen, says in the documentary Out of Eden, `it started raining. The land used to be red and barren, but since that day the rain has kept falling until the earth turned green. It rained until yesterday.' And Kruiper shows a broad smile. Director Saskia Vredeveld uses her camera to show how hard it is for the San to meet the demands of the modern era. One survival strategy is acting. They have a price list for it: filming is 250 rands, interpreting 300 rands an hour and a dance is 500 rands for half an hour. With great fervour, the San act out their ancient rites and practices, dressed in traditional garments, but a glorious comeback is not (yet) in sight.

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