Fences Around Us

Director: Terjo Aaltonen/
Producer:CMG Africa / Oddjob Films
Country / Region:China / Kenya / Botswana / Finland
Film Introduction
The documentary “Fences Around Us” studies the disastrous effects on the lives and culture of modern San people of Botswana who have been forced to live in settlements instead of hunting and gathering in the wild. Renowned for their deep connection with the land, the San people are believed to be the first inhabitants of Southern Africa. Genetic evidence suggests they are among the oldest peoples in the world, placed at the root of the human tree. For millenniums, they have maintained a delicate balance with the environment. Today, their existence hangs by a thread. They were evicted from their ancestral land during the 1980s diamond trade boom, were forbidden to hunt and forced to apply for costly and scarce hunting permits. Harassment of residents, dismantling of infrastructure, and bans on hunting appear to have been used to induce residents to leave. The government has denied that any of the relocation was forced. A legal battle followed.
Film Creator
Terjo Aaltonen has been working in the field of documentary films since 2009. His latest directing works include the feature documentaries Fences Around Us, which shows us the struggle of some of the last surviving hunter and gatherers, the San people of Botswana, who have been forced to live in poor settlements. The film was finished in 2020.++His documentary film of a musical journey called Favela Funk Finlndia was premiered at the Helsinki Documentary Film Festival in 2017. One of Terjo’s latest short form documentaries Cleaners of Death was made for Finnish YLE in 2019 and premiered in Helsinki International Film Festival in 2019.
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