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Kantarama Gahigiri Terra Mater


Interview: Kantarama Gahigiri – Terra Mater – Mother Land (Short)

Interview: Kantarama Gahigiri – Terra Mater – Mother Land (Short)

In what could be best described as a slideshow formatted collection of smartly composed frames moving from apocalyptic awe to a grounded retrogress, Kantarama Gahigiri‘s Terra Mater – Mother Land boldly goes where no human being aught to go. Adhering to issue-orientated cinema, the Swiss-Rwandan filmmaker offers some striking visuals but makes a poetically rendered argument for instrumental changes in big issue problem like waste management. With Neptune Frost actress Cheryl Isheja in electronic trash warrior garb, the short is a summation also invites several other artists to contribute to the visual and sound poetry and makes for an evocatively illustrated message film about the world’s disconnect with how we consume and larger issues such as capitalism, colonialism and environmental destruction in Africa.

I had the chance to speak to the filmmaker at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival – the short began its festival life at the 2023 Berlinale — so this has had the opportunity to be globally showcased. We went into the construction of the film and eventually talked about her next feature film project which she is currently mounting.



Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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