Stories from Lakka Beach
PROD/CAM/ED Daan Veldhuizen
MUS Peter Pluer
PROD CO BYDESIGN / Viewpoint Productions
Filmmaker Daan Veldhuizen first went to Sierra Leone to teach documentary filmmaking to West-African environmental NGO’s. Over the past five years he became part of the community of Lakka, a stunningly gorgeous beach village not far from the capital of Freetown. This involvement eventually allowed him access to, and insights into, the people, which in turn led to this honest, funny and intimate documentary, told from an insider’s perspective.
Ten years after the devastation of the rebel war, Sierra Leoneans abroad are still afraid to return home to their families. In Lakka, a fisherman, a carver, a restaurant owner, a local politician and an aspiring rapper live their lives in close proximity to each other, yet their visions—of the past and, more importantly, the future—are surprisingly different. Through the stories they share, we are witness to the deepest and most profound moments in their lives. These stories—about the ocean and the land, about war, love, religion, tradition and about foreigners—are charming and occasionally profound. They lament how tourism on the heavenly beaches is nowhere near what it was in the 80s—visitors stay away because of stories about the war, stories that the inhabitants would rather forget. Veldhuizen’s visually exquisite documentary finds a gentle community that—though still bereft of the economic engine that was tourism—is teeming with philosophical stories and plans for a better future.