Alice: Looking Through “The Eyes of the Devil”

Another fascinating snipet from Black Earth Rising S1Ep5. Again the visuals are facinating but hands down the dialogue is everything.

Alice: Raking the soil. Harvesting the crop. Cooking the food. Always. My father said my mother even sang when giving birth to me. I know she sang me to sleep every night. Always. Nothing happens just like that. We went into exile 37 years before the genocide. The belgians had gone, the Hutus had come to power, and the Tutsis were being thrown out. We stayed for as long as we could until we could not stay anymore.

Alice: We lived by the river where the water ran slow. My father said that, should we ever journey south we could never get lost. Because all life returns to the bend in our river. And the dead too. And that is where we first saw her. Sitting with her family. Younger than me and half my weight. But still she had managed to pull them out. She would not move until my mother having packed our world in three sacks claimed her as the last fruit from our fields. Tied her to her back and sang us all the way to Uganda. It took many, many months before Bibi Mundanzi began to sing back. And then she claimed us as her family. And my mother claimed a new daughter. Until one day again we found her by the river. It was poisoned from the water, but when the others saw her, they thought the poison came from her. And they became afraid of my white- eyed sister. So my mother sang us north again until the whispers did not follow. And there we stayed. There we grew. There we took back our lives.

Alice: And then one day we took back our country, my sister and I. And the whiteeyes of Bibi Mundanzi were never seen again. So there you go.

Michael: Sisters. I never realized that

Alice: She was never my sister.

Michael: Close enough.

Alice: Well, now she has become the “mother” of our nation.

Michael: No longer a sister now a parent.

Alice: With draconian house rules, would you not say?

Michael: Who else knows?

Alice: It is no secret.

Michael: That she’s a witch

Alice: She is not.

Michael: There was a time. You might want to use that.

Alice: Jaw bones and tooth rattles. I’m going to pretend I did not hear that. Ours is a modern society looking to take it’s place in a modern world. There is no magic in it.

Michael: Why did you give Kate that piece of clothing?

Alice: It belongs to her.

Michael: Why now?

Alice: You know why.

Michael: It feels pretty manipulative.

Alice: Having another Chuck Yeager moment Mikey?

Michael: Yes I am. As a matter of fact if I’m not wearing a space suit these days I find it increasingly hard to breathe.

Alice: We have not been comfortable with any of this for over 20 years.

Michael: Why don’t we just tell her and have done with it?

Alice: Because we agreed. All of us, you, me, Eunice and Eve. The moment she hears the truth everyone else has to hear it too.

Alice: You want to talk about manipulation, talk about my sister. The Constitution, the penal code, political space, press freedoms. And you want to call her to account on any of that? Then this is the only way to do it.

Michael: By using the personal history of an extremely traumatized 28 year old woman?

Alice: Oh Michael. You are forgetting. In my country we are all traumatized. Every single one. Me included. And all I’m trying to do is to help us to come to terms with it. Please… help me.

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