One Bushman family’s struggle to survive genocide, dispossession and post-apartheid freedom in South Africa.
OneTime Films in association with
Patricia Glyn & Karl Symons
A BUSHMAN ODYSSEY
One Bushman family’s struggle to reclaim their history and their land after four generations of genocide, dispossession, and uncertain freedom in post-apartheid South Africa.
This feature-length documentary film seeks your support for finishing funds. The entire film has been shot, we only need post-production funding to edit and distribute it globally. We hope you'll help us tell this story!
This is the Kruiper family. They are known as Bushmen, and they are the direct descendants of the first people on earth. Their ancestors roamed the Kalahari Desert in southern Africa for thousands of years as hunter-gatherers until colonial forces swept in and drove them from their land in the early 1900’s.
Dawid Kruiper, the patriarch, is 76 years old and he knows that when he dies, so too will the knowledge of his people’s history and culture before their lives were upended. He has a wealth of stories passed down to him from his grandfather, who was captured by -- and escaped from -- genocidal German colonial forces in 1908. Dawid and his brother Buks, 70, were born in the wilderness but grew up in bondage to the settlers who took the land from their parents and grandparents. They've been landless ever since, roaming South Africa as farmhands or as circus acts in various sideshows of questionable nature in the South African tourist industry. Over the years, the vitality of Bushman culture, from ancient medicinal practices to spiritual cosmology, has weakened with each generation born in exile.
In 1999, after generations of war, bondage, and dispossession, the Kruipers and the rest of the surviving Khomani Bushman people won a historic land claim that gave them ancestral rights to live, hunt and gather inside the Kgalagadi National Park. But they were unable to exercise those rights until now.
“Please can you help me get my family back to the places they need to know about before I die?”
Dawid Kruiper asked South African author and broadcaster Patricia Glyn to help organize a cultural heritage-mapping project through the entire Kgalagadi Park. They invited filmmakers Richard Wicksteed and Karl Symons to record the journey.
A BUSHMAN ODYSSEY is the result; a powerful feature-length documentary that follows the Kruipers’ poignant and at times heartbreaking return to their ancestors’ hunting and gathering grounds in the Kgalagadi heartland. In an effort to heal the wounds of a century, Dawid retraces the steps of his forebears, reconnecting his children and grandchildren to the land they can again call home.
Nefie Kruiper, Dawid's grand-daughter, gathers traditional bush food ...
Our crew spent a month traversing the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park with the Kruiper family, completing principal photography. We’re appealing to Kickstarter to help cover post-production costs, to edit and distribute the film.
We’ve secured distribution and marketing with specialist African content distributor Off the Fence, which is headquartered in the Netherlands with offices in New York, Cape Town, Bristol UK, and Singapore.
The raw footage will be archived at The Origins Centre at the University of Witwatersrand as a living heritage for the Kruiper family and all other San (Bushman) descendants in southern Africa.
See Dawid Kruiper's personal appeal to Kickstarter:
Richard Wicksteed is a Southern African documentary film-maker specialising in films giving expression to San/Bushman and African indigenous cultures in transition in the age of globalization.
Patricia Glyn is an internationally-respected South African author, professional speaker and adventurer. She mounted the Kgalagadi Cultural Heritage Mapping expedition during which filming took place, in association with The Peace Parks Foundation and South Africa's National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund. She is currently writing the book on the Kruiper family heritage which is due for simultaneous release with A Bushman Odyssey.
Karl Symons is a Belgian television current affairs and documentary producer, cinematographer, stills photographer and author with wide experience across the African continent. Based in Cape Town, Karl is also Director of Photography on A Bushman Odyssey.
Julia Marchesi (USA). Julia is a New York-based documentary film producer whose work has focused on themes of race, ethnicity, and family history. Her credits include the multi-part PBS series “African American Lives”, “African American Lives 2”, and “Faces of America”. She most recently directed and produced an episode of “Finding Your Roots” on PBS. She is the US executive producer and representative for A Bushman Odyssey.
Stafford Masie (South Africa/USA) is a self-confessed serial entrepreneur and angel investor. A former global corporate technology strategist with Novell in the USA, Stafford launched the Google presence in South Africa. He currently initiates and funds leading edge technology start-ups and is involved in hand-picked strategic consulting projects. An internationally-recognized disruptive strategist and technology futurist, Stafford is listed by Destiny Magazine as one of Africa's Top 40 emerging business leaders.
Stills by Karl Symons, Patricia Glyn and Sue Oxborow.
Excess funding will be deposited into a new production fund to finance sequels to "A BUSHMAN ODYSSEY", and to seed finance a slate of films related to the San/Bushman experience in Southern Africa. Further details available on request.
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Signed portrait of Dawid Kruiper emailed to you, with our heartfelt thanks.Estimated delivery:
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One 5X7 color print of a nature/wildlife photograph taken in the Kalahari Desert by professional photographer, mailed to you.Estimated delivery:
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All backers in the above range will also receive DVD copy of the completed film.Estimated delivery:
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All the above plus traditional San/Bushman ostrich egg bracelet.Estimated delivery:
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All the above plus DVD of completed film with extras and film poster.Estimated delivery:
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All the above plus "Thanks to..." end credit and Bushman protection/good luck charm amulet and hand-crafted silver necklace designed and made by Khomani Bushman silversmiths.Estimated delivery:
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All the above plus associate-producer end credit. Invitation to starlight premiere with Bushmen in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (excludes flight and accommodation expenses).Estimated delivery:
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All the above plus: One day/night tracking & storytelling safari with Bushmen in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (excludes flight and local connection costs), and your company/organization's logo and branding on end credits.Estimated delivery:
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All the above plus: Onscreen executive-producer opening credit. Three day tracking, storytelling and Eco-hiking safari with Bushmen in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (excludes flight and local connection costs).Estimated delivery:
- (30 days)