Fiche Film
LONG Métrage | 2006
Jardin secret des Bushmen (Le) | Bushman’s Secret (The)
Pays concerné : Afrique du Sud
Durée : 64 minutes
Genre : société
Type : documentaire


Plante dont on extraie une substance coupe-faim, le hoodia est convoité par les géants de l’industrie pharmaceutique qui la commercialisent comme produit amincissant. Communauté indigène de Bushmen, les San l’utilisent depuis longtemps. La question de la protection de la diversité des espèces et du droit d’exploiter les ressources naturelles revêt pour eux une importance vitale. Mais la lutte est difficile car ils n’ont pas de moyen légal de faire valoir leurs droits.

2006, Afrique du Sud/Australie/Allemagne, Documentaire, 1h04 min (+version long: 1h22). en anglais, Ju|’hoan et Afrikaans, avec sous-titres en anglais.

de Rehad Desai

Scénario : Anita Khanna
Image : Richard Wicksteed
Son : Robin Harris
Montage : Catherine Meyburgh, Meeno Boerema

Production : Uhuru Productions
Distribution : Uhuru Productions – Rehad Desai : [email protected]

2008 | 15ème NYAFF – New York African Film Festival | NEW YORK, Usa | 9 avril > 16 mai ||
> Sélection
> U.S. Premiere


Bushman’s secret
Bushman’s Secret is of particular relevance in a world where intellectual property rights are the new frontier of economic contestation. Centred around the San people’s rights deal over the Hoodia weight loss plant, Desai’s often wry approach elicits differing stakeholder perspectives and experiences. The San experience, which is in effect a critical world test-case, sadly highlights that the loss of land rights in the Kalahari highly endangers the next generation of indigenous knowledge holders.

When South African filmmaker Rehad Desai travels to the Kalahari to investigate global interest in ancient Bushmen knowledge, he meets Jan van der Westhuizen, a fascinating Khomani San traditional healer. Jan’s struggle to live close to nature is hampered by centuries of colonial exploitation of the San Bushmen and of their land. Unable to survive as they once did hunting and gathering, the Khomani now live in a state of poverty that threatens to see the last of this community forever. One plant could make all the difference. Hoodia, a cactus used by Bushmen for centuries to suppress appetite, has caught the attention of a giant pharmaceutical company as a weight-loss option for westerners. It now stands to decide the fate of the Khomani San. Bushman’s Secret features breathtaking footage of the Kalahari landscape, and exposes us to a world where modernity collides with ancient ways, at a time when each has, strangely, come to rely on the other.

Rehad Desai | South Africa 2006 | 1h05m | BetaSP | Afrikaans, Nu!, Ju’Hoan, English with English subtitles |

52/82 min DV
Director: Rehad Desai
Writers: Rehad Desai & Anita Khanna
Producers: Rehad Desai, Anita Khanna, Zivia Desai Keiper, Hartmut Keiper
YLE, TV2 Denmark, SBS Australia, Ikon, Holland, ZDF-Arte, RBTF, Belgium, SABC2, NFVF South Africa, EED Germany

2008 | 15th New York African Film Festival | NEW YORK, Usa | APRIL 9th to MAY 26th | |
> Selection
> U.S. Premiere

Palmares Film Festival 2007 – Best Documentary
Zanzibar International Film Festival 2007 – Best Documentary
Durban International Film Festival 2007 – Special Mention
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