By Road to Bomi Hills, Liberia. 1975.VOB

by lamorak111 • 9,700 views

Silent film shot on Super 8mm. Road trip in 1975 from Monrovia to Bomi Hills in a Ford Cortina - thanks to the endless patience and good humour of my driver, James Akoi (his country name was...

Thank you for this evocative video.  My dad was doctor in charge of the hospital at Bomi Hills. I have good childhood memories of our visits.  The crossing of the shared railway bridge brings back a special memory of him getting out of the car and putting his ear to the track to listen for trains!
Great video, great camera excellent zoom, my digital camcorder doesn't have that kind of zoom. Great driving over the train tracks and muddy roads.
Hallo again ar4216. THANKYOU. Getting out is too long a story for here - try fables.co.uk, Stories for Grownups. I gave up cine ages ago, but am still an active shutter-nutter. For many of those kids, being torn from what was their home, with no possibility of return, caused a great sense of loss in later years. However, the advent of the Internet allowed many of them to find each other, which was a source of great excitement and comfort. And yes, quite a few have seen the films.
A not entirely different situation occurred with myself, except it was a bunch of soldiers high on drugs and I had my small daughter with me. But she and her sister still remember Liberia as a wonderful place in which to grow up. Liberia's tragic troubles are a matter of great sadness for all who knew the country and its people - let us hope that time and the wise leadership of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf will heal the wounds.
Hi Randy13151 - oh, how right you are. Wouldn't we all, wouldn't we all, go back and do it all again. If only we could. How powerfully memories of Liberia call; a far off place, in a far off time. Glad you enjoyed the clip - your message is much appreciated.
I lived in Bomi Hills from 1970-1974 and your film really brought back memories...yeah those rainy season's could really make things muddy. I would do it all again if I could...it was a very pretty place to live
Hi ar4216. Many thanks for your comment. The dissolves were a feature of the Canon 1012, which allowed you to wind back about 50 frames between scenes, then apply a lap dissolve. There was no possibility of reversing a dissolve or reshooting a scene, so careful planning was needed! I was with Firestone-USTC, based in Monrovia, running the sole dealership for Ford US and UK cars, pickups, trucks, tractors. Our daughters grew up there - lots of memories.
Yes - coming face-to-face with real poverty and suffering can be overwhelming, but you’re unlikely to do so on a package holiday. You could try a holiday in The Gambia and join excursions to villages. Some who do are moved to raise funds back home & return with simple equipment for village schools etc (simple ballpoint pens are prized possessions). But a two-week holiday is very, very different from living for years in a country, and well-intended but innocent tourists are easily exploited.
Thankyou again, cameoin3d. A 1970s Canon super8mm with 12x zoom. Film was v expensive and unobtainable in Liberia, so your first shot was your only shot. Film came in 50ft reels - about 2 minutes - and cost the equivalent in todays money of around £50. Didn't see what I'd shot until a year later. Bought a years supply of film when on leave, and kept it in the fridge. Mailed to the UK for processing, collected on the next annual leave, then spent the following year editing it. Slow!
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