Buddha in Africa

* HOT DOCS - Toronto, Canada
* Sydney Film Festival
* Encounters
* Africa Film Festival
* Visioni del Mondo
* Vancouver Film Festival
* Bergen

* Best International Documentary in the International Panorama "A Window onto the Future", section of the Visioni dal Mondo International Documentary Festival in Milan

Buddha in Africa

Category |Human Interest, Politics, Religion, Social Issues, Youth
Year | 2019
Country | Malawi/South Africa/Sweden
Running time | 90’&60’
Format | HD
Production | Thinking Strings Media , Momento films (Sweden)
Director | Nicole Schafer

In a Chinese Buddhist orphanage in Africa, Enock Alu, is one of three hundred orphans from across rural Malawi, growing up between the contrasting worlds of traditional village life and the strict discipline of the Confucian, Buddhist value system of the Chinese.

Reminiscent of the Christian mission stations during colonial times, here African children with Chinese names speak Mandarin, worship Buddha and go through a gruelling process of mastering the difficult art of Shaolin Kung Fu. Once the star performer with dreams of becoming a martial arts hero like Jet Li, Enock, in his final year at school, has to make some tough decisions about his future and finds himself torn between returning to his relatives in the village or going abroad to study in China. Against the backdrop of China’s expanding influence on the continent, the film evokes some of the tensions and uncertainties surrounding the growing relationship between China and Africa.

Set against China's expanding influence on the continent, Buddha in Africa raises red flags around education as indoctrination, charity with strings attached and opportunity that comes at the price of identity. -HOT DOCS