In the Shadow of the Sun: A filmmaker shines a light on the profound danger of albinism in Tanzania

The shocking, engaging and visually stunning documentary “In Shadow of the Sun” was selected for Curzon Soho as part of The Human Rights Watch Film Festival which launched in March in London.

“In the Shadow of the Sun” tells the story of two inspirational men, Josephat and Vedastus—born in different generations but both albino—trapped in intense struggle amid a community of conflicting beliefs between witchcraft and science in Tanzania. They face a daily reality of sticks, stones and verbal abuse, often described as “white ghosts” and treated as though they’re the devil incarnate.

Tanzania has a huge problem with discrimination against their albino population. Taken as truth, the far-fetched superstition has managed to convince some to commit murder and dismember innocent men, women and children and sell off their body parts for vulgar sums of cash in the hope of personal wealth and good fortune.

Josephat and Vedastus’ journey was captured by director Harry Freeland over a period of six years. Combining appalling descriptions and footage of violence and murder with subtle, stripped-back cinematic visions, the film follows the two men as they try to work out how escape the physical and psychological tyranny they face every day of their lives, while awake and even more terrifyingly, as they sleep.


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