Lands of our Fathers

— my African legacy

Opening an old leather suitcase compels a New Zealand filmmaker to revisit her Rhodesian childhood, and reconcile herself with the effects of the colonial past.

It is often the way we look at other people that imprisons them within their narrowest allegiances. And it is also the way we look at them that may set them free.

Amin Maalouf, “On Identity” (Harvill Press)

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Lands of our Fathers.


Lands of our Fathers still. A white Englishwoman’s decision to become a New Zealander led to her need to know about her childhood in Rhodesia. She grew up there — among jacaranda trees, scrubbed white schoolgirls, black nannies and the adults playing tennis at the club — while her father slowly died of emphysema. A brown suitcase and its contents compel her to journey to uncover puzzles about her past, racial identity and the legacies of colonialism both in Zimbabwe and in New Zealand. In order to live more fully in today’s multi-racial world — a world where the fight for domination of one culture over another, one race over another continues; where differences in skin colour are still mistrusted rather than celebrated — she returns to the country she left 40 years earlier, Rhodesia now Zimbabwe.

Lands of our Fathers still.

Lands of our Fathers still. Lands of our Fathers — my African legacy follows the filmmaker’s personal journey weaving her impressions of places she revisits from her childhood with archival material and conversations, interviews and profiles of family, friends and others whom she finds on her search. As well as a physical one, the journey is also an emotional, deeply felt, risky tour of the soul. The filmmaker neither judges nor condemns, encouraging people to reveal themselves in conversations. Through the eyes of ordinary people and the texture of their different viewpoints, complex issues of race, of colour, of oppression and the ongoing legacies of colonialism become intensely human and accessible.

Key Crew
Producer / Director — Jennifer Bush-Daumec
Executive Producer — Gaylene Preston
Editor — Paul Sutorius
Director of Photography — Donald Duncan
Composers — Jonathan Besser, Whirimako Black, Oliver Mtukudzi
Line Producer — Jessica Skippon
Online Editor — Luis G Portillo
Sound Design — Tim Prebble
Voice-Over Director — Gaylene Preston
Sound Mixer — Michael Hedges
Editing Facilities — dubshop
Post Production Sound —, Wellington

Bushcraft in association with Gaylene Preston Productions and with assistance from NZ On Air and TV3.

©Bushcraft 2005