Wilhemina’s War: Viv and the Pastor, to Barbershop

This is a section from the middle of “Wilhemina’s War”, festival version. One of the activists we’ve been following goes to chat with a pastor, and then we go to a local barbershop to hear some men talk about how seriously they take HIV/AIDS prevention. We had so much great stuff from the barbershop, I swear there’s another film hiding just in the conversations there. Without spoiling anything, it turns out the men tell us what they think we want to hear when the activists are around, but it’s a different story later on.

As an editor, neither of these scenes felt promising at first, but there was some great stuff hiding in the footage. The scene with the pastor seemed stagey. But the pastor’s reactions are not staged, and really demonstrate the difference between hearing something and understanding it – you see him make that transition.

The barbershop footage seemed like a chaotic mess, and the audio was terrible – there are fans blowing the whole time. But after listening closely, we realized there was something instructive going on amidst the banter and bragging. The audio team at Splash Studios did some amazing work cleaning this up, and the result is a memorable scene that crystalizes the point that no matter what we know, we sometimes still do what we want anyway.

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