An Inside Look at Boko Haram

By Dean’s Intern Sam Ferguson at Voice of America

Probably one of the most interesting days I have had so far was when the full creative team took a look at over 18 hours of film shot by the Boko Haram.  For a whole week, the writer, editor, two producers, and expert Jacob Zenn went over ever clip to talk about the significance of the video and how it could be used in our documentary.  It was an amazing in depth look at how professionals analyze a video, thinking about the bigger picture.

Probably the most interesting moment was when we looked at clips of Boko Haram kids break dancing.  First off, that goes against Shaira laws which is ironic from a group whose name literally translates to “western influence is a sin.”

But also, the scene shows horrible killers/rapists looking just like a bunch of kids playing around.  One second they are laughing about who can dance the best, the next they are playing with their AK-47s.  Probably the next day, they will raid a town or cut somebody’s head off.

It was surreal to see exports and filmmakers get all giddy about a clip of a few kids just playing around.  It showed me that there is something very powerful about context to a simple scene.