Nairobi, Kenya. Film event in Nairobi
The movie There Be Dragons, directed by Roland Joffé, was premiered at Strathmore University on November 21, with the presence of the British director and more than 300 invitees. Among them were Kenyan movie directors, bishops, personalities from the cultural and business sectors, as well as many professors and students from the university. At the end of the showing, and after long applause, Joffé answered questions from the audience. A national film director asked him about the historical background for his best films. Joffé explained that history is important because it demonstrates first of all the value of personal freedom, and the impact that our decisions have. “One learns a lot from history, from the mistakes and horrors of the past,” he said. “At the same time, films with this focus present to the public the profound changes that human sacrifice and love can make, through the hidden heroism of many good people.”
During his stay in the country, Joffé visited three educational institutions begun in response to the impetus of the founder of Opus Dei: Strathmore University, Kianda Girls High School, and Kimlea Girls Training Centre (a rural technical school), all three pioneers of multiracial education in Kenya. Joffé had the opportunity to speak with teachers and students, and also to visit some families who were benefiting from the social and educational activity of these institutions.
During his visit to Kianda Girls High School, a student asked him about the title of his most recent film. “This film,” said Joffé, “is about human weakness—the dragons we all have inside, against which we have to struggle. People today are trying to find a way to control these dragons through science, through diet and nutrition…. In short, we are forgetting about personal freedom and the need to fight against our own defects. Two things are very difficult in life: to love and to forgive. It is easier to hate than to love. A very beautiful teaching that we find in St. Josemaría is the invitation that he addresses to everyone to do things very well out of love.”
Romana, No. 53, July-December 2011, p. 301.