PODCAST | Angelo Acerbi interviews Mawjemi Hussein, actress of the film The Survival Of Kindness.
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Mwajemi Hussein is the lead character in The Survival Of Kindness, by Rolf De Heer, in Competition at the Berlinale 73. It is her first ever role, never acted or even thought about cinema. She brought to this role her personal experience of being a Congolese refugee first in Tanzania and then in Australia. And she totally nailed it.
The Survival Of Kindness: In the middle of the desert, BlackWoman is abandoned on a trailer, in a cage. Her captors have left her to die. But she is not ready to pass. She escapes, and walks through pestilence and persecution, from desert to mountain to city, to find … more captivity. Those responsible are reluctant to relinquish their privileges, and BlackWoman, escaping once more, must find solace in her beginnings. As in his last film Charlie’s Country, the tragic hero of Rolf de Heer’s new work clearly asks: “What is left of our humanity?” This time the hero is a woman, portrayed with an unforgettable mix of bravery and weariness by Mwajemi Hussein. The Dutch-Australian filmmaker’s searing moral fable subverts our expectations by playing with a variety of genres, but confirms his indisputable understanding of the burden endured by ethnic minorities in a white man’s world. Their tragedy is amplified by the apocalyptic situation in which humankind finds itself, and their isolation further underlined by the film’s striking and meticulously composed dystopian landscapes. Poised between poetry and despair, BlackWoman’s thought-provoking story gradually gives shape to the most moving of exploits: the will to resist.
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