Liemba (2014)

Life aboard an old steamer that still ferries people and goods up and down the shores of Lake Tanganyika.

It is a great pleasure to showcase Julie Clavier’s multi award-winning documentary.  The star of the film is an old boat called The Liemba. It is now over 100 years old but still chugs up and down Tanzania’s western coast. In 1913 it was built in Papenburg just west of Bremen and was then disassembled and shipped, in kit form, to Dar Es Salaam, in what was then German East Africa.  The pieces made their way by rail to the lake and the boat was reassembled.

This film is in the same class as Fred Wiseman’s early work (google him) as it takes us on board this creaking ferry which becomes a metaphor for Africa itself.  The long-distance traveller is sometimes criticised for ‘just passing through’ but this film will have you on board the Liemba full time, and you’ll be there for the whole voyage!

2016 • Julie Clavier • Video • 56 mins