I recently re-watched RMC’s Short Film “Number 2”, and as much as I still see the same issues I had when I first watched it, my adulation to its value in our Filmmaking industry in Lesotho increases every time I see it. Now if you have not seen it, please do yourself a favour and see it. (Link at the Bottom of the post.)
I find RMC highlights something in the whole process that we should not let slip both as creatives and as audiences of creativity. That the generalized concept of societal and ethical safety should be withdrawn from our creativity. That all which is primary is not necessarily necessary. That our standards do not need to ride on the line of safety or stereotypes. That experimentation is indeed necessary if we are to evolve in any way as filmmakers in Lesotho. Our narratives have time and time again merely highlighted the idea of physical issues and consequences: illness, death, disease, infidelity and all of these are explored at a ground level. Rarely do we explore the spiritual effects of these happenings and most importantly the psychological. Characters are treated as vectors to deliver lines that lead us to moments, plot twists and spectacles. While RMC sometimes follows this style of filmmaking, his camera never does. His camera explores, pulls our focus to a narrative that is interwoven in small gestures. Like an imaginary character smoking a cigarette indoors, or shots- reverse shots that lead the audience to the internal schizophrenia of the protagonist. In all honesty, most of his acclaim from reading the comments came from a platonic level more than from the perspective of a creative. However, RMC is ready to take that, to settle for the subtle introduction of film to a more audio-centric society. To explore and play on the edge of the expected and push the boundaries a little wider with the exploration of every theme. Because what can cure a society that is so morally obtrusive to art but still craves to be entertained. What can cure a society of a heavy reliance on audio based media more than visuals but a filmmaker ready to be a “number 2” priority to his audience if it stretches the boundary of appreciation just a little further. Standing over his audience like a ghost whispering truths people do not want to hear but definitely need to cure themselves of the claustrophobia of a bloated and corrosive industry.
Also, I would also like to argue to RMC that he is more a naturalist than a “realist” as he labels himself but that is a story for another day.
P.S. Please don’t make a number 3. Let’s not introduce seqeulitis to Lesotho when Cinema is in such infancy.