The Malagasy Way

African Pictures

SIFF Says:

THE MALAGASY WAY celebrates existence in one of the most unique societies on Earth: the island of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. While any capitalist might look and see a poverty-stricken society, director Lova Nantenaina and the culture he presents would disagree. There may be more than enough to complain about, but Malagasy culture is less about growth and profit and far more based in recycling, creativity, and solidarity. Throughout this fun and poetic documentary there is a focus on a variety of artists, farmers, and craftspeople who are creating their own musical instruments, turning animal bones into soap and fertilizer, and turning old tires into shoes. Punctuated with proverbs that reflect the Malagasy perspectives on life and featuring a delightfully enthusiastic occasional host, THE MALAGASY WAY is a film that captures the ingenuity of a culture as well as the infectious joie de vivre of its people.

Stranger Says:

Though I have not seen all of the films in this festive, it is hard for me to believe that there is one that’s more important and relevant to our times of climate change and financial globalization than this documentary, which is about a community of poor artists, craftspersons, a market vendors in Madagascar. The story concerns the spiritual and economic ways they have survived what we in the US call the Great Recession--for them it has been, of course, a Great Depression. These people are proud of their traditions and their drive to recycle everything, to waste nothing, and to meet all manner of problems with very simple and non-capitalist solutions. Says one man: "To remove a thorn, a white person says give me a pin. As for us... we remove it with another thorn." (CHARLES MUDEDE)

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Film Credits
Lova Nantenaina
SIFF 2015