“The key to a healthy society, is a thriving community of storytellers…storytelling is a commodity, it’s a staple, there is no life without stories.” – Franco Sacchi, Italian filmmaker.
Check out his TED Talk, it really is inspiring. Who knew that Nigeria had the third largest film industry in the world; Nollywood? And it seems to be that these movies, which are 90% of the films consumed by Nigerians, are done for the sake of storytelling. There are similar, universal themes abound, but the art is in the telling: the ability to relate that story in their own way, to make it personal, native and familiar.
I have always been entranced by Jordanian storytelling, which I feel doesn’t get done quite often enough. On trips to Karak with my father, I am often surrounded by ancient relatives who weave tales of nostalgia. Tales that will probably never be told again. Never.
I mean, think about that for a moment. So much of our local history and heritage is oral. And so much of those stories are about to fade away. Think about that.
I am someone who has always been in love with the way films tell stories. Spending the last week at the Jordan Short Film Festival, I saw a great deal of Arab short films. Some were good, others not so much. Some were creative and original, others not so much. One thing most of them had in common was that they were too busy inventing new stories, most of which could not effectively be told in 20 minutes.
For once, I would love to see a Jordanian film, shot documentary style, where people just told stories. Stories about the past. Stories about a family. Stories about their misspent youth. Stories about a neighborhood. No glamor or complex plots, just, stories.
Maybe a series.
There is in fact a community of storytellers in Jordan but I wish there was just this big (metaphorical) campfire for them to be told around.