This documentary from Benjamin Eicher will give fans a respect for African tribes and their customs.
Benjamin Eicher is a Swiss-born filmmaker who has decided to take the challenge and head to Kenya in order to spend a month to live with the Massai tribe and learn their customs and rituals. The Massai is considered one of the most fearless and dangerous of African tribes. Eicher is the first Caucasian man to ever be invited to the Massai Warrior School to live the experience. With a camera crew, Eicher films his experiences with the Massai.
Eicher spends his time learning the customs and rituals of the Massai. As they have never learned anything outside of their civilization, Eicher takes the pleasure in introducing the tribe to the technology used today, such as smartphones, drones, and movie cameras. Eicher learns a great deal about the food, the relationships between animals and the tribe, and even helps the Tribe go to a Ranger when they discover a poacher trap meant for a rhino. The experience gives Eicher a newfound respect for the Massai and they welcome him into their ranks as he becomes the first White Massai Warrior.
In the cinematic world, African tribes have been seen for a long time as a people respected but also feared in some points. In one such case, they were seen to enliven some comic fodder in the form of Paul Michael Glaser’s The Air Up There. However, this documentary, in which one of the most famous of tribes welcome an outsider, shows a great deal of respect between the tribes and the outsider, in this case, Swiss-born director Benjamin Eicher.
What’s great about Eicher is his ability to tackle things head on from the moment he arrives in Africa. Once he arrives, he meets the tribal leader and soon enough, he’s out of his street clothes and sporting traditional Massai clothing with red paint to adorn his head and body. As he studies the customs through a hands-on experience, anything he questions, the Massai are more than welcome to answer him, showing that newfound respect between Eicher and the tribe. There are some fun bits in the documentary, including Eicher and his team showing the Massai how to work a video camera and the Massai’s look in amazement when they see a drone for the first time.
The documentary also takes some serious and at times, very eye-cringing moments. The latter especially comes in the form of how the Massai get their food. The serious nature comes in the form of discovering a poacher trap and what they decide to do because it is important for conservation, especially of the targeted animal, the rhino. Eicher and his team show a great deal of respect for the Massai as will you once you see this film, which clocks in at 78-minutes.
The White Massai Warrior is a very well-made documentary about one man’s experiences and respect towards the Massai and will give fans a newfound respect about the tribal rituals and customs seen in a way not too often in films.
WFG RATING: A-
Vision Films present a Little Brother Films production. Director: Benjamin Eicher. Producers: Benjamin Eicher, Timo Joh Mayer, and Martin Wenzel. Cinematography: Timo Joh Mayer, Christoph Siegwart, Stephan Stahl, and Martin Wenzel. Editing: Stephan Stahl.
Cast: Benjamin Eicher, Timo Joh Mayer.