Essay Doc by Amy Bodman
April 17th, 2010
In 1993, Amy Bodman took a small crew to Zimbabwe to make a film about land as a living entity. After 15 years in the making, The Limits of What We Know documents the changing landscape of Zimbabwe and its people’s relationship to it.
Quietly told through the voices of Zimbabweans and arranged through chapters such as “The Great Zimbabwe Monument”, “The Composition of Drought”, “The Language of Trees”, “Rain”, “Clay”, the film is part travelogue, part environmental study and part meditation on life itself. Exploring a range of topics from the function of weeds and the hearts of giraffes, to the construction of dams and the rise and fall of kingdoms, the film ultimately reveals nature’s mysterious tenacity in the face of great change. While THE LIMITS OF WHAT WE KNOW appears at first to be a portrait of Zimbabwe, it culminates as a heart-felt picture of our changing world as it struggles to compensate for the ever-increasing dominance of the human race.
Shot during a time of relative peace, Zimbabwe is now in crisis and much of what was filmed no longer exists. THE LIMITS OF WHAT WE KNOW stands as a quiet testament to a country and its people.
Filed under: documentary