Centrul Astra Film



Astra Film Festival

A Kalahary Family: part 2 End of the Road

John Marshall | USA | 2002 | 54'


In 1978, after a twenty year separation, John Marshall is reunited with Toma and !U's family. Like a majority of Ju/'hoansi, they have settled at Tsumkwe, an administrative post established by the South Africans who govern the territory of South West Africa. They came in search for water, employment and what they hoped would be an easier life. But in Tsumkwe, Ju/'hoansi survive on corn meal rations, while the few with money and jobs buy liquor. Drunkenness, violence and the diseases of poverty are rampant and painfully depicted in END OF THE ROAD. The new life also creates inequalities that the Ju/'hoansi never experienced. When the South African Defence Force begins recruiting Ju/'hoansi and paying the large salaries to fight the liberation forces of the South West African People's Organisation, called SWAPO, these disparities become chasms. Marshall and his colleague Claire Ritchie record the decline in the Ju/'hoan society in 1980-81 when Tsumkwe becomes known as "the place of death". Hoping to re-establish a more stable way of life, the Ju/'hoansi start working with a development foundation founded by Marshall's father. The foundation assists them to begin farming and in 1981, Toma's family leaves Tsumkwe, heading back to their traditional waterhole at Gautcha with axes, shovels and cattle. End of The Road is the second part of the five-part series A Kalahari Family.