Having recently visited South Africa, I was reflecting on my experiences there in light of Nelson Mandela’s passing. A courageous, inspiring leader, he had an influence on a people, a country and a world. As I met the people, talked with them, broke bread with them, photographed them, Nelson Mandela had an influence on me. I came to admire his commitment to moral principles which elevate the human condition. I found, in Johannesburg, a complex and complicated city with contrasts not entirely in keeping with Nelson Mandela’s vision for how things ought to be. In other parts of the country these contrasts were even more apparent. Things are not how they should be. Yet, I also saw hope, commitment, energy and progress. I’m sure Nelson Mandela didn’t accomplish all he hoped to accomplish in his long and influential life. Yet, his vision took root. His commitment and perseverance inspired others. Nelson Mandela made a difference. South Africa made a significant impression on me well beyond the images I took.
I had one day to shoot B-Roll in Rome. And, it was my birthday. My wife surprised me by flying to Rome and meeting me at my hotel. It was a great birthday present. I still had to film but we saw the sights of Rome together.
Rome has this interesting vibe of Ancient Rome overlaid with Catholic Religiosity. The people are friendly. The city is dirty. The food is good. And the places–unbelievable–almost as unbelievable as the legend of Romulus and Remus being raised by a She-wolf. Still, it is a good story–and, a great city.