a film by
Monika Hielscher & Matthias Heeder
director of photography
production management Nigeria/Niger
African Research Center (AFREC)
assistent to production manager
production management Germany
Martha Stern, Rhizomfilm
Wolfgang Kramer, NDR
Phase Zwo Hamburg
special thanks to
Donata von Perfall
Hans Robert Eisenhauer
Association Timidria Zinder/Niger
Africana Research Centre Enugu/Nigeria
Developed in the framework of Discovery Campus Masterschool 2003
Bundesministerium für Wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung
Disposable People is a film about modern time slavery, revenge and emotional healing.
Two Nigerian brothers, Kenneth and Nnayanalugo, travel from their home village in former Biafra to Zindar in the South of Niger Republic.
From here they start their search for the abductors, who had kidnapped and sold Nnayanalugo, the younger one, into slavery some years ago.
It feels as if I had to return to the slave camp
Their motive to do so is complex.
Still the ex-slave suffers from the after-effect of the traumatic event. Although he had made his way back, he hasn’t arrived home yet.
To find and to confront his former slave-masters promises emotional and spiritual relief. The latter is connected to his and his family’s belief that charm/black magic initially had put a spell on him which is still lasting.
In Zindar they will not be there on their own. Meanwhile, Kenneth had established contact to Timidria, a Niger based human right organization fighting domestic slavery. With their help the brothers will start their research to trace those responsible for Nayanalugo’s enslavement.
At first their father, a palm wine farmer, who is selling his products at the local market, strongly objected Kenneth’s idea. Like his wife he was terrified by the thought, Nnayanalugo could be kidnapped again by the same gang.
But Kenneth carried his point, and since his parents do know, that all efforts to bring Nnayanalugo back to his former life didn’t work out, they finally agreed.
And so the brothers take off.
I like your film, it is very well photographed and edited. It is a shame though your character never reaches the objective built along the narration. Anyway I think it is a very good job and it should deserve a large diffusion.
Head of contents in Orbita Max,
Your film has everything a good documentary needs: a convincing motive of the protagonists, a clear narrative structure, strong emotions and personal development.
Hi Mathias – sorry it took so long to get back to you – and thanks for letting me see your fascinating film. Iit should be a candidate for the DCM screening at Leipzig Festival.
Congratulations on achieving a really difficult film
Congratulations on bringing DISPOSABLE PEOPLE to fruition. It was well produced and, of course,had an interesting subject matter. A lot of thought-provoking points are raised, some of the dialogues made you think about this highly controversial issue of modern slavery and all of incarnations.
The characters were all very honest and the imagery had a certain beautifully „loneliness“ to it, which helped to illustrate the sort of „liberal enslavement“ these modern slaves must be experiencing.
The door is always open for future works-in-progress, and I had a great experience being involved with DISPOSABLE PEOPLE and you from concept to completion.
Thank you and all the best.
Please keep in touch,
HBO/Cinemax Documentary Films
Thank you so much for submitting your film „Disposable People“ and your proposal for a project in Indonesia. I viewed the DVD with interest – it is beautifully shot and I appreciated the character-based nature of the program. There is a nice balance between narration/information sections and more verité-based sequences
Researcher, Wide Angle
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