Kimi Takesue was one of several non-African helmers commissioned by the Rotterdam Film Festival to go to Africa and make a movie. Her entry, the Uganda-shot “Where Are You Taking Me?” is an uplifting observational docu that plays on seeing and being seen. Though the premise of commissioning non-Africans to reveal the “Dark Continent” to (largely) white arthouse auds can be seen as suspect, Takesue’s beautifully meditative work is aware of its outsider status. Fests with an artier bent should accept her invitation and travel along.

Shots of varying lengths show such locales as a busy street corner or a village road, allowing the viewer time to watch passersby and acknowledge the camera and Takesue’s presence. Some look; others walk by without a glance; children, of course, delight in the camera. The director films a variety of urban and rural spots giving glimpses of Uganda’s varied social fabric, shifting in the second half to the Hope North School, where former child soldiers are rehabilitated. Lovely transitions, via image and sound, and striking compositions make the pic an enriching experience.

Where Are You Taking Me?

  • Production: A Kimikat Prods. production. (International sales: Kimikat, New York.) Produced by Kimi Takesue. Co-producer, Richard Beenen. Directed, written by Kimi Takesue.
  • Crew: Camera (color, DV), Takesue; editors, Takesue, John Walter. Reviewed on DVD, Rotterdam, Feb. 6, 2010. (In Rotterdam Film Festival -- Where Is Africa.) Running time: 71 MIN.