ACTION ALERT: Urgent Appeal for Funds to Complete Film on Genocide in Central Africa

May 12th, 2011 - by admin

keith harmon snow / Water From the Roots of the Grass – 2011-05-12 00:51:32

(May 4, 2011) — How can we bring about healing and reconciliation in this world? Through listening to others? Through sharing and compassion? Through holding people accountable? How do we nurture global awareness and greater personal consciousness? I think everything in my life to date has helped prepare me for what I am about to do, in the hopes of radical healing, reconciliation and truth, and I need your help.

I will very soon travel for very important interviews and gather some much-needed footage for our documentary on genocide, Water From the Roots of the Grass. This is a risky mission, and I cannot share too many details. But this trip is vitally important to gain access to top government officials and to shoot essential footage.

In the past year, we collected over 60 hours of critical interviews, created an editing center, developed a budget and a prospective board of advisers. We have gathered personal testimonies of government and military officials, academics, and genocide survivors.

Our network has expanded based on people’s confidence in our work. We have interviewed ICTR defense attorneys; experts with decades of experience in the Great Lakes countries; and former colonial administrators. We have now been invited to interview individuals whose positions and histories will surprise you (confidential at present). We need your support.

Tentatively titled Water From the Roots of the Grass, our feature-length documentary will explore the facts and propaganda about genocide and war crimes in Central Africa. Following the rise of Yoweri Museveni and Paul Kagame, the film will explore contested terrain about genocide and war crimes in Burundi, Congo, Rwanda and Uganda — and Western involvement — exploring the competing narratives about Hutus versus Tutsis, savages versus saviors, victims versus killers, entrepreneurs versus dictators, bystanders versus perpetrators, machetes versus machine-guns, masters versus slaves, white men versus black men and, at the root of it all, good versus evil.

My heart breaks each time I review footage of survivors whose stories of suffering — interrupted by bouts of weeping — remain unheard and unacknowledged. Their tales of being hunted by foreign troops, eating roots and leaves, watching brothers drown in wild rivers, surviving massacres and “humanitarian” sector betrayals, carrying children who died in their arms — stories of utter hopelessness — are edge-of-your-seat real-life tales of survival again and again and again.

Having lived to tell the tale, these survivors now find hope in our efforts to make their stories known and reveal the deeper underlying truths that history seeks to bury along with the millions of dead. Their compassion, courage, resilience and humanity will bring people into greater consciousness about the essence of life and loss, hopes and dreams, liberty and love.

Working in collaboration with a Los Angeles based film director, Water From the Roots of the Grass is becoming an award-winning and eye-opening documentary uniting journalism, art, politics, and cinema. Combining our efforts in our respective fields, we have the experience and the expertise necessary to create a truly groundbreaking film.

This will not be a dry documentary listing facts and drowning the viewer in details, but a compassionate and moving story. It will not be Hollywood fiction built out of a billion dollar budget and billed as “a true story,” and it will not be my prejudiced version of events, but a colossal and cooperative effort in balance, perspective and equanimity, at once real and alive and shocking and compelling and beautiful. We hope to show you a trailer soon. But we need your help.

I am also working on a book exposing the devastation wrought by multinational corporations and western interests in Central Africa — the extraction of timber, gold, diamonds — and the devastation of the rainforests. The book and film will confront the propaganda and expose the truths that involve us all, no matter how remote we might imagine them to be, and no matter how much we want to ignore it. Both book and film will address the “politics of genocide,” demand accountability and challenge impunity, because without this we cannot hope to build a better world.

Understanding our seriousness and commitment, many people are putting their faith in us and supporting this project in non-financial ways. This is wonderful, and essential, but it is not enough. Please make any donation you can as a way to help with what often seems like an impossible situation.

Everything helps. Can you make a $1000 donation? If you donate $500 or above I will personally bring you back something special from Africa in proportion to the level of your support. Every $100 helps us bring this film to the screen. If you can only support us at the $20 or $10 level, please do: you are supporting my daily meals. The names of all donors (who so choose) will appear in the film’s thank-you credits.

Please use PAYPAL on my website ( or send a check directly to:
keith harmon snow,
84 Goshen Road,
Williamsburg, MA 01096.

We will soon have a dedicated web site for this film, with donation buttons there, but for now please use my current site. And, in the meantime, please also notify me by email so that we can add you to our mailing list and keep you abreast of developments. Please make a “FILM PROJECT” notation with your donation.

Thank you so very much. And thank you, thank you for your past support in so many ways.


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all things pass, so too will i…

keith harmon snow
USA: 413-626-3800

keith harmon snow is the 2009 Regent’s Lecturer in Law & Society at the University of California Santa Barbara, recognized for over a decade of work, outside of academia, contesting official narratives on war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide while also working as a genocide investigator for the United Nations and other bodies.

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