Of Shame and Coffins
Of Shame and Coffins
IDFA 2007

Of Shame and Coffins

The Box
Maziar Bahari
27 min
Festival history

In just 30 minutes, director Maziar Bahari shows the implications of the taboo surrounding AIDS that prevails in large parts of Africa.

In Kwazulu-Natal, an eastern province of South Africa, he interviews Joyce, who in fear of the consequences keeps her illness a secret from both her children and the community. Bahari captures her on film in the church, dancing to the lively drums. Within the religious community, the subject is being silenced. Churchgoers dance around a pregnant woman who claims her husband died of tuberculosis - while the true cause of death was more than likely AIDS. An AIDS patient in hospital says he regrets telling his brother about his disease, as the latter threw him out of the house. A young woman who is filmed at her sister's grave - murdered because she did not keep silent about her illness - was harassed herself after the film was shot. While the screen remains black for a moment, the narrator reveals that the film crew was also threatened.

One part of the community wants to preserve the taboo by using force, another part believes AIDS is a punishment from God. All the while, the documentary reveals that the undertakers are doing very well.

Screening copy
    Jan Vrijman Fund
    Jan Vrijman Fund
Distribution Benelux
    Jan Vrijman Fund
    Jan Vrijman Fund
World Sales
    Journeyman Pictures
    Journeyman Pictures