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White Hotel

Dianne Griffin, Tobi Solvang
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White Hotel


When two women with a video camera follow an American HIV research team to Eritrea, Africa, they are seduced by a land of joy and repression, of sensuality and sexual mutilation. White Hotel is the tourist residence where Griffin and Solvang begin their journey but their journalistic objectivity is shattered by the circumstances they encounter turning their documentary into an intimate investigation of their own capacities to love, suffer and forgive.

"White Hotel" is the name of the tourist residence where Griffin and Solvang begin their journey. The metaphor soon disappear as two white filmmakers join the rush of humanity striving for freedom. They arrive in Eritrea as people are celebrating their victory after thirty of savage war with Ethiopia. Jubilant scenes of independence are jutaxposed with grisly shots of skulls. Screaming, intoxicated revelers are counterpoints to a prisoner of war's moving story of confronting his tormetnor after the armistice. The film captures a magical country of extremes with luxury car and mud-hut hospitals, where homosexuality is invisible is invisible and the increase in AIDS cases is the result of heterosexual sex and the widespread practice of female circumcision.

It is a film about forgiveness, understanding and fear. It is a film that takes us through the many issues surrounding AIDS, both the political and the personal.


Dianne Griffin has been working in the film and video industry for the past 15 years in Feature Films, Commercials, Music Videos and Documentaries. In addition to "White Hotel," she has produced "Ramona" which achieved acclaim in film festivals both in the US and abroad. Currently, she is in development with her next documentary, "The Weavers" which follows a Iranian nomadic tribe the Gasghaie; world renown carpet weavers.

Tobi Solvang earned a Master's degree in Film Production from San Francisco State University. She is currently producing a documentary about a Seattle musician and developing a feature film script.

Contact information:

Dianne Griffin, Director, Producer
Wake Up Productions
118 Seal Rock Dr.
San Francisco, CA 94121
phone: 415-386-3611

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