Ben Donateo & Michel Passos Zylberberg
Switzerland | 2024 | 54 min
World premiere
Language : Swahili
Subtitles : English, French

“A long time ago, we were people who grew up with animals.” It is with these words, as well as superb images, that filmmakers Ben Donateo and Michel Zylberberg begin their journey through Tanzania. Through the eyes of a child, a young man, and an elder, their film reflects on our relationship to the land, to animals, and to the living world across different generations.

There are very few words in this film by Ben Donateo and Michel Zylberberg, but they all count. Firstly, the title. In Kiswahili, one of the languages of Tanzania, muzungu means "a person who wanders aimlessly", but it is also used to designate a foreigner. Then comes a refrain, an invitation to travel back in time, accentuated by the grain of the Bolex and the Super 8 images: “A long time ago, we were people who grew up with animals”. Finally, a legend is told by the fireside, about a grandmother who turns into a hyena. There are three characters in the film – a boy, a young man and an elder – but the story seems to be told by a travelling goat, a close-up cow, chickens, puppies and, above all, the great lake, the bearer of life and hope, the dream of "Manyatta", the camp of the Moran people. This tale set at the foot of Kilimanjaro poses questions about place, migration and the link to the living world at a time of cultural and climatic change.
Anne Delseth
Muzungu, 2024
Care Givers, 2023
Burnt. Boring Portrait of an Angry, Young, Black Man, 2022
Burnt. Land of Fire, 2020

Screenings and tickets

Friday 12 April 2024 17:45
Capitole Leone, Nyon
In the presence of the director
This film is screened with Au Revoir Siam

Tuesday 16 April 2024 10:00
Usine à Gaz 2, Nyon
This film is screened with Au Revoir Siam


Ben DonateoMichel ZylberbergElia Misesti
Ben Donateo
Ben Donateo
Jenny CovelliBen DonateoBen DonateoMatilde TettamantiGinny SAOlmo CerriREC
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