"Bridges Between Cultures"
Video Filmed and Produced by Morocco RPCV, Dan Cahill
Dan Cahill (Kenitra 68-70) filmed video during the Moroccan-American Friendship Tour in November 2001. It includes interviews and reflections of the RPCVs and RPCV family members who were on the tour. Dan is a filmmaker and does video production at New York University, The following is an interview with Dan about the video.
Tell us about the video. I shot it in early November 2001 during Moroccan-American Friendship Tour organized by Friends of Morocco. My goal was to interview my colleagues about their Peace Corps experiences and what it meant to be back in Morocco. Because 9/11 was constantly on our minds, I asked people’s thoughts on those issues as well. I also interviewed Moroccans on the topic of 9/11, and their commentary is perhaps the most thought-provoking part of the program.
I need to speak with Moroccans who are fluent in English, and I was put in touch with some accomplished academics through a former student of mine. And, because we were going to one of the most beautiful places on the planet, I tried to capture Morocco’s scenic and cultural attractions.
What did your family think or your going with your daughter to Morocco in November 2001? Those who knew Morocco were a bit cautious about air travel, but knew that we’d be safe once we got there. The opportunity for my daughter to see the place she’d been hearing about her life overrode most people’s concerns,
What were the challenges in making the video? The hardest part was editing. Originally, I thought might make 3 different programs: a) RPCVs reflecting on their experiences; b) Moroccans and Americans commenting on 9/11; and c) a portrait of Morocco and its culture. Eventually, I decided to try combining all three, if I could find a coherent way to weave them into the same program. Not having an exact script to follow (always the case with documentaries of this sort) made the task both more liberating and more exasperating. The final product is actually the fourth version, after showing it to various people for commentary over the winter.
What kind of audiences and venues do your think are appropriate for this video? I always intended the program for general, educated audiences. Of course, people who know Morocco or the Peace Corps will be especially interested, but my goal is to reach the broadest possible audience. Soon, I will be entering it in film festivals and I think some cable networks should be interested.
Editor’s note: I had the pleasure of viewing Dan’s video at the 40+1 conference and it brought back so many memories for me. To get more information about the video, contact Dan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-932-7781. Copies of the video can secured from Dan Cahill for $10 in DVD (preferred) or, if necessary, VHS including postage.
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