Monday, September 27, 2010

Clowns with a Film Crew (Send in the Clowns: changing the face of international aid)

During the this project we were joined by Samantha Lee and her documentary film team who are making the film "Send in the Clowns: changing the face of international aid."

The film crew has been less invasive than I imagined. I got used to having them around pretty quickly and now I see them as a unique aspect of this trip itself rather than just a crew documenting. Their film seems like it will be about the work of Clowns Without Borders, the lives of the people we work with, their impressions of our work, Haiti before and after the earthquake. They are busy filming and interviewing all day long.
I notice that the people we interact with tell me less about their lives and community issues than on past trips. It might be cultural or because of the nature of this project but mostly I feel like it's because they are telling so much to the film crew that they don't need to tell us. Our intervention is happening on 2 fronts: people discovering new aspects of themselves, surprising themselves with a new reality in our workshop and show creation and show performance & having their everyday lives and their personal experiences validated by sharing them with the film crew.

Our work has been complementary and by the end of trip I am so glad we have had the film crew along. I'm no longer ignoring the camera's presence, but accepting it and letting myself forget about it. And I can't wait to see what they make of all their amazing footage.

On the other hand I also notice that the moments I hold most valuable happen when the film crew is not filming and the other clowns are not taking photos... Moments of play on our one hospital visit when I am joking with the nurses and dancing for the moms in the baby room around the corner. Workshop exercises before the film crew has arrived, in the morning, when everyone is still focused and the circle is whole. Walking through cité delma after our 1st show as dusk falls and then eating dinner with the kids in the almost dark. Having a check in about the day just us 3 clowns.

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