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Two young Bushmen grapple with the possibility of transitioning to modern lives

‘It’s upon us as the youth to find out who we really want to be.’

An intimate coming-of-age portrait expertly told, A House Without Snakes by the US filmmaker Daniel Koehler follows two young Bushmen after relocation from their ancestral homeland in what is now the Central Kalahari Game Reserve in Botswana to settlements closer to population centres. Kitsiso longs for the comforts of modernity, despite his father’s wishes that he carry on a traditional lifestyle tracking animals and living in huts, and instead considers a move to town to find work. Ketelelo, who lost his parents at a young age, has a natural talent for school and wants to study engineering in the US or Canada, but desperately needs a scholarship to afford it. With refreshing nuance and clarity, Koehler’s film sets the very personal tensions of two young men trying to determine their paths against broader and deeper questions about what it is to live at the intersection of tradition and modernity.

Director: Daniel Koehler

Producer: Edward Pettitt

24 July 2017

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