In April 2014, we released our first feature length documentary, A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake, which was compiled from over 200 hours of footage we took while touring Truth in Translation. The documentary is a glimpse into the lives and minds of a group of South African performers who shared and listened; facilitated and responded to the heartbreaking real-life personal stories of the human casualties of global conflict. As South Africans representing various facets of South African society, they were forced to look at whether they themselves had even successfully “reconciled” their own individual pasts, and realized just how complex and challenging it is to engage with the multifaceted concept of forgiveness.


 
The documentary’s title refers to the question which often appears in conflict situations when asked why perpetrators killed young babies. The answer, irrespective of culture is always, one way or another, “A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake.”

“The film is neither truth nor fiction, but it is true. It has hope based in despair. It is a journey where darkness and light constantly jump out at you, where one truth morphs into its opposite. It takes these courageous actors through worlds often more painful than their own nightmares…where people also have masks and are better rehearsed than they are. It is an homage (for me) to South Africans – as a microcosm of what is possible. It can be painful…But it allows us to celebrate a terrible truth that every really good actor knows – that what another person looks like…is our own responsibility.”

-Michael Lessac

AWARDS:

Winner
The Fund for Santa Barbara Social Justice Competition
Santa Barbara International Film Festival

Winner, Honorable Mention
Best Feature Documentary
Woodstock Film Festival

Winner, Honorable Mention
Best Editing on a Feature Documentary
Woodstock Film Festival

 
PAST FESTIVAL SCREENINGS

Durban International Film Festival
World Premiere
July 2014

Woodstock Film Festival
US Premiere
October 2014

FIPA (the Festival International de Programmes Audivisuals)
European Premiere
January 2015

Santa Barbara International Film Festival
January 2015

Salem Film Fest
March 2015

Atlanta Film Festival
March 2015

Global Peace Film Festival
October 2015

Africa in Motion Film Festival
October 2015

 
PAST EDUCATIONAL SCREENINGS

DNA Gallery, Berlin
in coordination with the exhibition “SEE New Perspectives: from Balkan photographers
April 2013
*Invitation only preview presentation

Robert Bosch Stiftung Annual Forum, Munich
April 2013
*Invitation only preview presentation

ArtsEmerson, Boston
in coordination with the preview performances of the Northern Irish theatre production Hold your tongue, Hold your dead
September 2013
*Invitation only preview presentation

Afghanistan Center at Kabul University, Kabul
as part of the Transitional Justice, Reconciliation, and Peace International Seminar
November 2013
*Invitation only preview presentation

The Carter Center, Atlanta
November 2013
*Invitation only preview presentation

Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art, Winnipeg
November 2013
*Invitation only preview presentation

Wits University, Soweto
November 2013
*Invitation only preview presentation

Columbia University, New York
in coordination with the Institute for the Study of Human Rights
December 2013
*Invitation only preview presentation

Le Laboratoire, Paris
December 2013
*Invitation only preview presentation

European Foundation Center Annual General Assembly, Sarajevo
May 2014
*Invitation only preview presentation

The Paley Center for Media, New York
June 2015

Cape Town Holocaust Center, Cape Town
in partnership with the Institute for Justice & Reconciliation
August 2015

SMU, Dallas
in association with Dallas Faces Race, the Embrey SMU Human Rights Program, the Trans.Lation project, and SMU Meadows School of the Arts
September 2015

Cape Town Holocaust Center, Cape Town
May 2016

United Nations, New York
in honor of World Tolerance Day; presented by the UN Department of Public Information
November 2016

Southeast Premiere at the Atlanta Film Festival
Atlanta, GA
March 2015