Social Impact Media Awards - Sacred Water

 

A playful ode to the female orgasm in Rwanda from the perspective of a radio deejay with a mission.

Interview with Writer/Director Olivier Jourdain

 

Why did you make your film?

First of all I wanted to share the fascination I felt when discovering the subject myself. I was amazed to discover a « culture of sexuality » in Rwanda, opposed to our Western approach, which is usually much more individual. Were we talking about some kind of African Kama Sutra? Did the Rwandans inherit another way of lovemaking, until this very day? Is female pleasure really central in this society?

I also wanted to show another view on Rwanda, something that was reuniting and encompassing the whole country. A positive film about a country that has lived through horror twenty years ago.

Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?

First of all, the film will give you a frank dose of laughter. Secondly you’ll learn things you wouldn’t expect of an African country, related to female orgasm. We usually think about sex in Africa as a negative thing, so here’s something completely different.

I also believe this film works as a kind of mirror of each and everyone’s sexuality. Through the discovery of specific sexual practices, the audience starts thinking about his own conception of intimacy: Are we in the West as sexually liberated as we think? What knowledge do we really share? The film questions more than gives answers and I’m very happy with that as I wanted to bring reflection and self-questioning.

Sacred Water - Vestine Dusabe during Women’s day in Dahwe, a village in Southern Rwanda.

Sacred Water - Vestine Dusabe during Women’s day in Dahwe, a village in Southern Rwanda.

How do personal and universal themes work in your film?

I believe the main theme of the film is the importance of sharing intimacy and how it affects the way a society lives together.

I believe orgasm in general and female pleasure in particular is a very mysterious and underrepresented topic. Men all over the world have always tried to dominate this mysterious bliss because of its unique power. I truly believe woman’s orgasm is much more powerful than men’s relief and that’s why it scares men.

A good understanding of it should be primordial for a happy « couple » and by extension of the whole « society ». 

How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development and production?

This script was very difficult to follow as it was a mix a following a main character and having enough distance from it to explain a social phenomena. I shot a lot of footage over a period of three years and we spent a lot of time in the editing room basically!

But it is important for me to allow the shooting to be free. If I knew what I was looking for then I would have made a fiction.

What type of feedback have you received so far?

The feedback is very positive I must say, I feel very honoured and the film is moving all over the world, beyond my expectations. I receive feedback by mail even weeks after, because people keep on speaking about it. That’s the best I can have.

First of all the subject is very intriguing : the culture of squirting in Rwanda. Secondly, people feel enthusiastic and astonished to listen to people speaking so openly about something so intimate. And the public seems to laugh quite a lot, so that’s always a good sign.

Sacred Water - Fisherman on the shores of the Kivu Lake, near Kibuye.

Sacred Water - Fisherman on the shores of the Kivu Lake, near Kibuye.

Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?

Honestly the feedback gave me great confidence in continuing to make the films I wanted, after having so much critique before finishing the film.

Some feedback has definitively made me think that I should have gone deeper in explaining certain parts more clearly.

I keep noticing that “obvious” messages don’t come along the way they were intended.

What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?

I would love if the film could be more visible in the US as the film has no distributors there.

Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?

I think a local sales agent and tv buyers is what I need. But in order to have them I would love to screen the film in US Festivals a bit more. 

What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?

I hope it could change the opinion we have of Rwanda or Africa in general. Media is such an important tool in creating opinion, and I believe a lot of documentaries focus on the negative aspects of African societies. I would like my film to contribute to another viewpoint of this vast and diverse continent.

I also would love it if people could question their own beliefs about sexual pleasure and share more things in terms of intimacy.

Sacred Water - Girls in a student dorm discussing the relevance of ancient sexual traditions.

Sacred Water - Girls in a student dorm discussing the relevance of ancient sexual traditions.

What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?

I love it when people don’t agree on this or that part of the film, a debate is then always imminent. I seek no truth, just discussion.

Would you like to add anything else?

Be water my friend.

 

Interview: January 2017

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 We Are Moving Stories embraces new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series and music video. If you have just made a film - we'd love to hear from you. Or if you know a filmmaker - can you recommend us?  More info: Carmela

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Sacred Water

A playful ode to the female orgasm in Rwanda from the perspective of a radio deejay with a mission.

Length: 56 min

Director: Olivier Jourdain

Producer: Michel Dutry, Nameless Productions

Writer: Olivier Jourdain

About the writer, director and producer:

Passionate about Visual Anthropology, I studied Filmmaking in London (Brunel) as well as Anthropology in Leuven (KUL. My love for filmmaking and travelling has allowed me to discover various and interesting environments as an editor, director and cameraman.

Looking for: sales agents for US territory, buyers, distributors and film festival directors as well as journalists.

Funders: Belgian TV( RTBF ) and Wallonie Image Productions
Made in association with:

Sens Uniek
Centre du Cinéma et de l’Audiovisuel de la FWB

Where can I see it in the next month?

Finland , France, Spain, Belgium, Estonia, Czech republic, Greece

Up-to-date info: www.sacredwater-movie.com