Misha left after 4 good pints of Holt´s Bitter to head back to London and off to Africa for a month. I owe him a lot. He came over with his energy and love of humankind and I am looking forward to doing this documentary AND living in Mosside. Thanks Misha! Material looks very good, we need to work the sound a bit and I look forward to you returning. Now I need to nail down all the contacts we have gathered and structure things up!
Most interviews of this day, and they were a few, unfortunately sounds like this.
However, what a success, thanks again Misha! I have an enormous work ahead of me getting all onboard!
We met a lot of great personalities at the pub. And what I realize is of course that there´s hardly any mixing as such as regards to the older white generation who has been here since the war and the newly arrived immigrants. Well, except with the West Indian community, which everyone I spoke to had a lot of respect for.
"They came to work and have done so."
Today we visited the West Indian community and met a really, really great fella, C.B, who gave a great perspective on the community and what they´re facing today. Not surprisingly, like all the others we have talked to, they had little faith in the government on all levels.
"All they do is talk and there´s so little they have to do and add economically, to make a difference. But they don´t care."
We strolled around Mosside most of the day, trying to catch atmosphere plus and document family everyday-things. And we went to the local dentist, who in 5 minutes, managed to do a full check up and do a filling, for 55 pounds. Amazing I say and I am beginning to understand those reviews on the Internet saying:
"You are better of not going to this one. I needed to redo my teeth afterwards." At least the kids didn´t get bored waiting. There´s definitely some hesitation to us filming, but not as bad as I thought. If you explain properly, most times there´s no problems. Especially if you mention the fact we are doing a positive film about Mosside. Which is not all easy, since most people feel left on the edge. But once you get to know people, the positive sides of Mosside comes out, like sticking together and helping each other.
We also went to the local store and paid for more gas plus asked if we could buy some camels milk. See the clip below!
In the evening we once again went to the pub and had some local bitter from Jacob Holt! Misha is doing a great job, the only thing, we need to get closer during interviews. Wind is also picking up.
Misha fell in love with the XA 10 directly. Small, inoffensive, easy to handle and produces great images. He arrived around 9 on Wednesday, having missed the first train and arrived by taxi. We started working immediately by walking over to A.R´s café and immediately got talking with him about Somaliland. Even in Mosside, the Somali tribes don´t mix we realized after talking to many people at this great cafe. On this first stretch from Princess Road to Upper Lloyd, they all come from Somaliland, the northern part, still not recognized as a separate country. It was such an interesting time, that my wife and the girls showed up and we all had lunch there. food is great and the girls are used to the Middle Eastern atmosphere. So is Misha who speaks a bit of Somali and has pretty much just been there filming for the UN.
The main reasons for bringing Misha over at this stage, far before everything is funded and ready, are two. I wanted to catch the freezing cold before it starts to warm up and catch the everyday life of our family, which is a little base for the documentary. It is hard to do it all by myself. So, after having had a lunch we set off for Aldi, shopped and talked and on the way back we visited a furniture charity on Upper Lloyd. this was my first real eye opener how difficult life is for most people in Mosside, no matter what background or the color of their skin. This important charity collects and transports furniture mainly, but also sells books and other items all over Greater Manchester. They said the situation has drastically got worse by the day and people came to buy a sofa for example, and had very little money over. Like 10 pounds.
From here we walked and I talked to the camera about our life here and we ended up a Alexandra Park, where we came across a great character. Paddy. he had lived all his life around Manchester, including Mosside and said you could still get gunned down here!
There´s no doubt that everyone we have met so far are disappointed with the government, both the local and the one in London and feel like nobody cares. And they have therefore developed a we against them mentality, which I am beginning to fully appreciate and understand. And I had no idea it was this bad!
C showed up at 3 and she is quite a personality! Full of life, opinionated and knows Mosside. A gem in many ways! She told as a lot of important details about Mosside. And the difficulties having a family and getting life to end up level. But she has a great love for Mosside and the more I hear, the more I see and understand, i am beginning to understand her love! Because there is a feeling that we don´t judge any one and we stick together and help each other! A reality we learned quickly at the local pub, the Claremont, which didn´t allow us to film because the BBC had done such a misleading terrible job a few years back when they used the pub as a place where illegal things happened and they still today, many years later, feel utterly betrayed and sad. And the rumor, most dangerous pub in Manchester, as the locals say, bollocks!
Let me just say that these last three days have been the best so far in Mosside. And not only that, it has in many ways changed the way I look upon his place I live right now!
A major difference was funding the little funds I have and get my new friend, Misha over to help me. One of the best desicions I have taken. Misha is an extra ordinary human. Born in small village not too far off Yakutsk in the Republic of Sakha, the coldest inhabited place on earth, and now he is living and working as a freelance film maker in London! This journey of life has taught him many things and he has boundless energy, good humor and is easily loved by people, so together with him, we have done a hell of a lot of work in only three days. Most important of all, setting up a structure of very interesting personalities from the area.
People make such a difference to any area. And Mosside is definitely a very underprivileged area of our world, but this definitely creates a we against them mentality and once accepted as a Mossider, which I believe we are right now, there´s a great sense of belonging. And if feel genuinely happy we did end up in these unique part of our world!
Right now, Misha left yesterday, we all miss him a lot and I realize he has to become part of this project. Not only has he gone though a wobbly life but he has such a good way with people and his camerawork is very good. But at this moment, after going through the material, there´s some wind issues, I feel happy but very tired. I have transferred the files to hard disc and now i will take a few days reading up on the Uk through Katie Fox and Jeremy Paxman.
And thanks to my wife and my two sidekicks as producers, Eva and Dana, who have been with us pretty much every second except at the pub! I will write more soon, in more detail.
I met some amazing hostility today for the first time in Mosside. I went to visit Manchester Refugee Support Network on Princess Road and since arriving to Mosside, considered by many very dangerous and unpleasant, I met my first piece of genuine unfriendliness. Naturally in the shape of a white middle aged bureaucrat who was showing an arrogance, impatience and complete lack of empathy, which I have come across before, they all look the same these men, and I wonder, who hires these people? And if he treats me like this, who comes in with two kids, and wants to ask if they can help me find a local family or two who have just moved in, so i can get their perspective. I didn´t even get a chance to explain why or who I was. They hardly opened the door for me. I am stunned to almost silence!
In Sweden we have a name for these people, "sursvenskar". Sour Swedes. I have no idea at all why he treated me like this. Did I look scruffy? Is it because I said I was a documentary film maker? Are they scared of getting investigated? Was it because he couldn´t place me in the normal British class system shelf, due to my foreign accent? Or, did he feel I had nothing to do there because he was doing such dignified work? I have no idea. What to do know, is that it will be much, much more difficult to do a documentary in England than Yemen, due to these white westerners and Brits. They´re so....worried, don´t want to be bothered, keeps to themselves and they´re just...like they belong to another planet at times. There´s many exceptions of course, but there´s no doubt, that the immigrants are a ton friendlier and nicer to socialize with. That is one reason I am looking and trying to find a partner, definitely a woman, hopefully from here, absolutely with either a Middle Eastern or African (Caribbean) background. I have put this up on documentary sites on Facebook and elsewhere: I am looking for, preferably a Swedish speaking lady with Middle Eastern or African background (Somali is extra good) who can handle a camera and help me "discover" contemporary England. A 3 month project similar to my lastwww.expeditionyemen126degreesintheshade.com including walking, meeting loads of people and living in Mosside -one of the most densely populated places in Europe and one of the most underprivileged, but full of great people!- for a month, which is the base and the start.
But, having said that, anyone interested, speaking Swedish isn´t all important, English yes-well, it has be a lady to get a proper perspective, and the doc well be much better for sure- do drop me a line though the Yemen webpage mentioned above.
Animal handling, great ability to adapt, time in the UK and outgoingness a plus.
This is a job offer.
I have also sent out around 10 emails to ask everything from Eva´s school to the local council for help, only Al Cox has answered and shows any interest. The rest, complete silence. I have never come across that before either. No interest to help at all. By the way, this unpleasant character at Manchester Refugee Center, he advised to put up a flyer. And in that way attract newly arrived, mainly non-English speaking immigrants. I am speechless in the face of stupidity. How do these guys get these important jobs?????
This is just outside where we live. Rain is a major part of life...