Jeroen van Velzen
Netherlands | 2012 | 80 min
Languages : Dutch, Swahili
Subtitle : English

On the trail of memories from his youth in Kenya, the filmmaker allows himself to be led by an old fisherman and his grandson into a world in which reality is not separated from imagination and dreams. Once again the fisherman catches nothing, but he is convinced that tomorrow he will catch a shark. The film’s direct representation of the fisherman’s life is impressively interwoven with mythical elements.

The old fisherman Masoud goes out to sea every day with his young helper Juma to catch a big shark. The heroic stories from days gone by in which he, the “commander”, tamed mighty animals with his own strength, find their expression today at most in a baby shark who takes the bait. Yet Masoud believes in his strength and, every day anew, in his success.

The Dutch filmmaker Jeroen van Velzen spent his childhood in Kenya and grew up with the Kenyan philosophy according to which there are two worlds – the human world and the spirit world.  The myths woven into everyday life help him later on to endure the loneliness of a British boarding school. Now he allows Masoud to lead him back into a world in which reality and dreams become one. Van Velzen’s carefully integrated personal commentary accompanies the fisherman through his day. The fisherman, in turn, is linked to legends told by a shaman and an old woman. Wavumba is beautifully filmed; even the scenes portraying reality are intertwined with each other. This is a story of how people deal with change and unfulfilled dreams.

Jenny Billeter

Translation BMP Translations


Digna Sinke

Etat d'Esprit

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