The Erotic Human: Shooting in Senegal
In the period May 5 - June 8, I was in Dakar, Senegal, to shoot another segment of The Erotic Human. I first spent a week scouting locations with cinematographer Adam Philp. The rest of the crew - soundman Kjetil Mørk, camera assistant Jon Rudberg and producer Marianne Christensen - arrived Sunday May 31. Assisting us were my old friend Makena Diop, a renowned Senegalese film and theater director, and his brother Ahmet.
My first meeting with Makena dates to April 2000 at a café in Paris. The Racines Film Festival's director Catherine Ruelle had introduced us after I told her about my new film project. Makena is a great storyteller, and he told me so convincingly about the "culture d'erotisme" in Senegal, the beauty of his country's women, their rituals in the art of seduction etc., that I went straight to my hotel room and wrote an excited report to Marianne, suggesting to go to Senegal, which we did in 2001. Dan Holmberg shot stills from that trip.
And now finally we were there to shoot super 16 mm film. Makena had selected one of his country's leading actresses, Rokhaya Niang, and we had a very intense week of shooting: first a day on a beach, then two days in a great location, Café Journal, a big first floor room with windows ensuite and a bar in a busy quarter of Dakar, then a day in an outdoor nightclub, and finally some shots from the streets.
It has been very inspiring working with my new crew, and both Kjetil and Jon did an excellent job. It was also a great pleasure to work with Rokhaya. She is sensual, sophisticated and beautiful, and she has a lot of film experience. We shot ten rolls of film, and both Adam and I felt it was inspiring to work with such limitations.
After the very erotic Haiti segment, I feel the Dakar scenes add something new to the film, bringing freshness and a different sensuality.