A Film Never Made

Alchemy Films in association with University of Wisconsin   |   UK/USA

What can the past offer to the future of a nation seeking reconciliation? When a young Liberian man, uprooted by war, discovers the earliest motion picture record of his country's past, he sets off on a journey to find out. The archival footage was recently discovered after being lost to the world for almost 75 years. Shot in 1926, it is the earliest motion picture record of Liberia's past to survive the civil war. It has never been seen in Liberia. The footage, approximately three hours in length, contains intimate, candid, and, at times, stunning and haunting scenes of mythic paramount chiefs, traditional village life, cultural dances, artisanal crafts, and forced labor practices, as well as urban street life in Monrovia. It is playing an important role in rewriting a more inclusive history of Liberia on the path to reconciliation.