River of Sand
A ONE-HOUR TV DOCUMENTARY
In 1998, acclaimed singer/songwriter and activist Bruce Cockburn travelled to Mali, West Africa with a documentary film crew, led by producer/director Robert Lang.
Over the course of several weeks, Bruce traversed this country, over half of it hugging the Sahara Desert, exploring its roots, people, ancient cultures, musical traditions and the ongoing struggle against drought and desertification.
Along the way, Bruce jammed with musicians like legendary bluesman Ali Farka Toure and Toumani Diabate, master of the traditional 21 stringed instrument, the Kora. In the ancient city of Timbuktu, the film team visited prehistoric cliff dwellings in Sanga and met face to face with people working for a brighter future by changing the face of the desert.
River of Sand, which premiered on Vision TV in October 1998, is a travelogue of a different sort - one that touches upon the cultural, musical, and environmental roots of Mali.
Produced, Directed & Written by
Music & Narration
USC Logistical support
Produced for Vision TV, TVOntario, SCN and Knowledge Network
River of Sand INTERACTIVE
Site Designer / Manager
Winner of the Regard Canadien Award at the Vues d'Afrique Film Festival in Montreal (1999)
Invited for competition at the International Festival of Environmental Films in Paris, France (1999)
Screened at the Environmental Film Festival in Washington, DC (2000)
Screened at Cornell Environmental Film Festival (2000)
Premiered on Vision TV. Broadcast on TVOntario and Link TV (USA).
River of Sand Interactive is the companion web site to the The River of Sand television documentary hosted by acclaimed singer/songwriter Bruce Cockburn.
During filming in March 1998, River of Sand Interactive provided a means for site visitors to ask questions of Bruce and the rest of the film team. Every shooting day, after traversing the desert and jamming with Malian musical luminaries, Bruce provided answers via satellite phone - answers that were immediately posted to the web site as RealAudio.
Through this "Audio Blog" Bruce took many web site visitors with him on his journey to the heart of West Africa fielding 153 questions with answers heard by more than six thousand visitors.
Questions and archived answers are still posted on the River of Sand Interactive web site. (A mild warning to webheads: this site was designed way back in 1998. Expect a trip in the aesthetic way back machine.) Visit River of Sand INTERACTIVE.