LIBERIA: THE SECRET WAR
Award winning documentary, 1998
Liberia, 1989. Chaos spreads through the jungle like a virus. 250 000 dead. Millions more displaced. “The Worst Place in the World,” is ignored – seen as a savage, primitive spirit that has nothing to do with us.
April the 6th, 1996. War bursts out of the jungle into sunny Monrovia, capital Liberia – Africa’s first republic. Corpses crowd the streets. Ghost warriors with juju totems fight and dance. CNN, ABC, BBC, Newsweek and The Atlantic Monthly decry this new “African Barbarism,” paying big money images of these colourful yet sinister looking “JuJu warriors.”
Fresh out of McGill philosophy, Booker teamed up with childhood friends Alexandre Trudeau and Malcolm Hearn, and headed to Liberia – where they discover that this new “African Barbarism” is caused more by imperialism than JuJu magic. On the contrary, JuJu is not primitive and backward at all, but instead allows Liberians to commune with the raw forces of global capitalism on their own terms – finding JuJu just as much in a pair of Nike sneakers, a Hong-Kong action movie or a Tupac beat as in their tribal rituals, which have long since been mixed in with globalization anyhow.
The result of six months embedded in the so-called “heard of darkness,” LIBERIA : THE SECRET WAR invents a hybrid form that dissolves the barrier between JuJu warrior and Western viewer. It’s a film only the young and foolish would dare make. Charles Taylor. Jack the Rebel. General Diamond. Solo the Kid. They don’t preach, but their tale is a cautionary one. Anarchy, chaos. It’s comforting to think these are African afflictions, but the Liberia crisis might telescope our future in a world growing ever more desperate. The jungle’s chaos sleeps in every heart. It’s beauty and magic could be our salvation.
LIBERIA: THE SECRET WAR premiered to a sold out crowd at the international Vues D’Afriques film festival, where it took the Prix Telequebec, screened at the Vancouver International Film Festival, the NFB, and has been used to teach post-colonial studies at the university level.
What began as the 1972 Munich Olympic Games, dubbed “The Happy Games”, the first in Germany since 1936 – quickly […]
Nuclear Dissent. Interactive documentary — click here. Booker co-wrote, directed and produced the video, web and VR elements of […]
Here’s the case study for a 360 video experience featuring Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa Booker co-produced and directed for […]