In a remote corner of Kenya, a thin river cuts through two warring communities surviving in an increasingly barren landscape. As rivaling elders offer empty treaties, a shepherd boy is sent to the frontlines of a conflict, while a mother tries to organize a female alliance that transcends tribal lines in an effort to break the cycle of violence ensnaring her neighbors.
At its core, BETWEEN THE RAINS is a cinematic and journalistic endeavor that seeks to speak to the bitterness that has been sown for generations between two neighboring northern Kenyan communities, the Turkana and the Samburu. When colonial powers rewrote African borders, traditional tribal boundaries and long-standing truces between neighbors were erased. Pastoral communities that were once free to follow the rains became locked in place, forcing their cattle to overgraze until the lands were stripped and water sources were depleted. This feature length character study is told through the eyes of Kolé, a young shepherd boy who reluctantly pursues the path to become a warrior, and Josphine, a mother burdened by the violent demise of her villages’ youth.
Opting to show more than tell, we focus the story on strong characters as they learn from their choices in real-time. Through patient filming and the occasional off-camera prompt, we aim to capture unguarded thoughts rather than relying on carefully answered interviews to drive the story. Through these honest moments, we empathize with Kolé and Josphine’s experience as the story plays out.
The goal of this patient approach is to provide viewers with a more immersive experience; where they too feel the weight of Kolé and Josphine’s actions. Through avoiding sensationalizing our subjects’ realities, viewers and our subjects offered an even sightline.
For this reason, trust between our subjects and their community members is the cornerstone of our production. Over the last three years, we have built immense trust with these individuals and with the communities in which they live. This work has allowed us to have a deeper understanding of the familial and cultural dynamics we seek to show.