Handcrafted Films

A long drive through Liberia

River Cess County back to Monrovia is usually a one day journey over terrible roads. It became portentously longer when the jeep started to play up on our last day of filming. Water was gushing from the engine. In an opportunistic fashion we went scavenging at every opportunity for spare parts. In West Africa lorries, cars and motorcycles are usually driven until they fall apart. They subsequently go through a period of repair, falling apart, repair. This continues until the vehicle literally stops and refuses, like some sad exhausted donkey, to move again. However this seldom dissuades the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the African mechanic who see’s not a wrecked hulk of machinery but instead a ready supply of spare parts, be it a carburetter or some simple nuts and bolts.

The Intercontinental Hotel

One goes through a process of heckling the Nigerian peacekeepers who protect the building and lounge around in the old lobby, their equipment spread about them as though they themselves are newly arrived guests awaiting the doormen and staff to carry their gear in through the foyer. After the usual talk and introductions they wave us through the protective cordon and we are free to wander about the vast crumbling emptiness.