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  Kalfam Productions 101 Morse St., Watertown, MA 02472
A Kalahari Family
A 6-hour, five-part video series by John Marshall that documents 50 years in the life & times of the Ju/'hoan Bushmen of southern Africa from 1951-2001.



Part I: A Far Country
Part II: End of the Road
Part III: Real Water
Part IV: Standing Tall

BUY OR RENT THE SERIES


My wife is gone. And this is what we eat. If you eat only these seeds it makes your stomach sick. It's very hard... I don't want advice from whites anymore. We want to do our own thing now.
-- G≠kao Dabe


Part V: Death by Myth

90 min, color


   By 1992, Namibian independence is attracting unprecedented levels of international aid for the Ju/'hoansi, but people complain that the development foundation no longer supports their farms. DEATH BY MYTH documents the shift in policy from farming to wildlife management and cultural tourism. As John Marshall and the Ju/'hoansi attempt to rally support for farming, we witness the power of the "Bushman myth." This myth – a belief that Ju/'hoansi are born to hunt and uniquely capable of living in harmony with nature – denies Ju/'hoansi the humanity to change their economy and survive on their own.
   Ju/'hoansi endure their cattle being killed by lions and their water pumps being destroyed by elephants. In 1994, Ju/'hoansi vote unanimously to dismiss the directors of the foundation, but their action does little to stop natural resource development or the money pouring in to implement it. In 1996, with promises of great wealth, Ju/'hoansi vote to establish a nature conservancy. What did they really understand about the policy they were endorsing? The film ends in the year 2000 when conservancy members receive a meager 75 Namibian dollars (approximately $10.50 US) each – their profit from two years of trophy hunting. As more farms fail, many people are forced to return to the squalor and disease of Tjum!kui.

Photo of Oma

photo of bushmen in the bush