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
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.
Dianne Griffin, Director, Producer
Wake Up Productions
118 Seal Rock Dr.
San Francisco, CA 94121