The Rift – A Journey within a journey

In March 2018, we shared the Kickstarter campaign that Louis Devereux (B1 2004-09) had launched to fund the completion of the documentary he was making about Robert Devereux (B3 1968-73), his father, who had undertaken to be the first person to walk the entire Rift Valley in one go, an epic journey which he completed in 2017.

We are really pleased to be able to share the completed documentary. Louis wrote to us to say;

“In September of 2015 my dad, Robert Devereux, stepped on to the road in Beira, Mozambique, and started walking north. He didn’t stop walking for seven months until he reached the the Red Sea in Djibouti over 5500 kilometres later. I knew there was a documentary about the walk as soon as he told me about it, but I didn’t think it would be the one I ended up making.

I set out to make a documentary following his walk and to tell a story from each country. We developed a story line looking into the corruption surrounding the hardwood industry of Mozambique and spent an afternoon in prison because of it. We started looking at the effect of international aid in Malawi and the struggles of young artists in east Africa. However as the walk progressed and we spent more time, just the two of us, walking together we started to get more personal.

My father had an affair when I was five years old, leaving what was a very tight knit and close family for another woman. Over half of UK marriages end in divorce yet it is still a topic swept under the carpet and ignored. In a very British manor, dad and I had never spoken about how he left the family or how it affected both of us. The more we walked together the more he opened up and I started to ask questions I never knew I wanted answers to. It took him walking though Africa to create a space where we could tackle the subject and those conversations very quickly became the focus of the documentary. “The Rift” has become a story about a father and son opening up to each other and tackles issues of unspoken rifts, male vulnerability and retribution through a deeply personal lens.

The production has taken five years to come to life, going though many different edits, including a feature length version and having been validated in many film festival successes, it is ready for public viewing. It can be watched via a download here. Please get in touch via louisdev1@gmail.com, if you have any questions or would like to see the feature version.”