Last September a severe flood ravaged Burkina Faso. To publicize the plight of the flood survivors, award-winning filmmaker Taale Laafi Rosellini produced a video short called African Deluge.
Mainstream media sources devote perhaps 1% of their news coverage to Africa. Is it any wonder that most Americans have little or no idea about the rich history and culture of African nations such as Benin (Dahomey) or Burkina Faso (Upper Volta)?
Taale Laafi Rosellini served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Burkina Faso from 1967-75 and set a Peace Corps record for years of service in one country. Taale volunteered as a community organizer for two years, working with farmers and cattle herdsmen in the construction of reinforced concrete drinking water wells in West African villages.
He then proposed the creation of a national audiovisual center to document the music, dance and oral traditions of the peoples of Burkina Faso. As project director, Taale recorded, photographed and filmed musicians, dancers and carriers of oral history from 33 cultures and taught Burkinabe nationals sound recording, photography and filmmaking so they could continue this important work.
The founder of a nonprofit organization called African Family Film Foundation, Taale is currently editing Zam Zam, an intimate feature documentary portrait of a healer/farmer/family-man/dancer, filmed over a span of two decades. One of the most renowned dancers in West Africa, Zam Zam performs the ancient Moose woaarba dance at landmark events and celebrations.
Taale earned a Masters in Fine Arts from UCLA and has taught Cinematography at that university.