DER Documentary

Tracks Across Sand

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by Hugh Brody
produced by Betsy Carson
color, 270 min, 2012

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In sixteen chapters containing four and a half hours of materials, Tracks Across Sand offers a unique chance to travel to the edge of the Kalahari, to a struggle for indigenous rights, and into the heart of contemporary South Africa. Driven from their lands, forced into a life of destitution, and denied the right even to speak their own languages, the ‡Khomani San fight for their heritage.

Culled from over 130 hours of video recorded between 1996 and 2010, Tracks presents a unique record of the ‡Khomani San, bringing together the story of Africa's first Bushman claim, from preparation through to ten years after the claim was granted. Seen through the eyes and told in the words of the ‡Khomani San themselves, this film chronicles the struggle for indigenous rights by a people who are defying a history that has attempted and failed to make them disappear.

The contents of this interactive DVD set include not only the extraordinary video shot over the course of the project, but archival photos, maps, family trees, stories, segments on Bushman language, and interviews with people outside of the San community who were instrumental in the claim and community building. As an added attraction, the disk also holds a photo gallery of the film's participants which can be downloaded and shared within San communities.

The ‡Khomani San of South Africa speak for themselves; and they also speak for the many, many people like them, who are struggling to have their voices heard and their human rights recognized. Tracks Across Sand is above all a record of a remarkable time and remarkable people — and may be the only record anywhere in the world of a land claim over such a span of time, from dream to retrospect ten years after settlement.

Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards
RAI International Festival of Ethnographic Film, 2013

Related Resources
Face to Face Media
Character Photo Gallery (PDF)
Project Locator Map (PDF)

Related Films
A Kalahari Family
The !Kung Series
Bitter Roots: The Ends of a Kalahari Myth

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