Last night we screened the Footsteps to Ghana film at the fantastic vintage Mayfair Theatre. It was a magical evening beginning with a creative intro dreamed up by Rory Magill. The current Baobab kids filled the aisles with the sounds of Bell Forest, surrounding the audience with an array of cricket, frog and other natural sounds. The bells came next in complex 12/8 patterns typical of West African rhythms, played with soft mallets and the deep totodzi drum was the last to add its rich timbre. The screen was then filled with some old video footage of mine from a trip to Ghana in 1997: young kids playing Gahu on tin cans, plastic pails etc. The older kids mentoring the younger ones in both dance and drumming. Our Baobab kids soon jumped up and began a live performance of Gahu as the video footage merged into an older kids Gahu from Ghana, with drums, costumes and vibrant faces. Our kids played with them and then continued on after that faded out.
The live music finished to rousing applause and then we all sat down to watch the feature film, shot and directed by Francois Desrochers. At the time we only had a hand held personal video camera, one of the first digital ones available (2001 remember??) What he accomplished with that simple camera and NO budget was, quite simply, amazing. We were pleased he was able to be at the screening and he and we received lots of compliments afterwards.
Some comments from audience members:“I just wanted to say what a brilliant film that was. I wasn’t prepared for the flood of emotion it evoked”
“What a wonderful film. The youth group sounds amazing!”
“I must say, after watching the documentary last night, I’m all the more bummed that I’m not able to go with you all. That said, I’m quite excited about the incredible opportunity ahead for my guy and the rest of the gang! “