Series: Über den Inseln Afrikas

Cape Verde


A film by Christian Schidlowski
© 2011 / 43 min (German+French) and 52 min (English) / HD / 16:9 / Stereo

Stéphane Ducandas' goal was nothing less than to capture the soul of the Cape Verde Islands in photographs. Stéphane is a New Caledonian and spent his childhood in Africa. For him, the trip to Cape Verde is also a journey back to his roots. His aim is to explore the landscapes of the archipelago by land and by air. The bird's-eye view is provided by Englishman Richard Meredith-Hardy. With a flight over Everest to his name, he's considered the most fearless ultralight pilot in the world. To fly Stéphane around, he's brought his FIB, a flying inflatable boat. Together they land on secluded beaches in defiance of the relentless winds.

Their journey takes them from the main island of Santiago to Sao Vicente, Santo Antao and Sal. Along the way they meet guitar makers and musicians, distillers and fishermen. For Stéphane, every encounter is like a gem: "What I'm really looking for in my photography is an exchange. Commonalities. A half-hour or an hour experiencing people's everyday life with them." People like Kabungo in Tarrafal, whose surfing school for youths he joins for day, thereby plunging not only into their lives, but also his own past. "When I'm shooting pictures, I re-live a lot of feelings from little moments in my childhood. The picture itself comes at the end. It's almost an afterthought."

Meanwhile Richard has his hands full with permits and strong winds, not to mention repairs following a near-crash. He isn't able to fly as often as he'd planned, but in Santo Antão he's rewarded in another way: with a whole airfield just for his FIB. To show his gratitude, he takes Francisco, the guard at the long-abandoned airport, for a flight around the island in his FIB, giving him a bird's-eye view of his island for the first time.

Cape Verde – the islands of Saudade, of longing. For Stéphane and Richard it was a journey full of adventure, unforgettable encounters and magnificent photographs. Director Christian Schidlowski and his team accompanied them on their trip.



Written, directed and edited by Christian Schidlowski
Camera: Sascha Kellersohn
Title graphics: Stefan Matlik
Sound: Bastian Seidel
Sound mix: Tomas Bastian
Music: Nils Kacirek, Cordas do Sol
Location manager: António Cascais
Production manager: Carolin Neubauer
Line producer: Markus Breimaier
Producer: Thomas Wartmann
Commissioning editor: Ulrike Becker, SWR

A coproduction of Filmquadrat.dok GmbH & Südwestrundfunk
in collaboration with ARTE.

Supported by the MEDIA Programme of the European Union.


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