ASK ME I’M POSITIVE 00:48:55

Target Audience

Youth and adults

Key Issues

Advocacy & Activism

Living Positively

Disclosure

Stigma / Discrimination

Transmission

Prevention

Film Outline

Thabo, Thabiso and Moalosi are young, urban Basotho men on a mission. They travel with a mobile cinema unit through the mountains of Lesotho, screening their film to very remote communities. In a country where almost a third of the people are HIV+ they are the nucleus of a tiny group that are living openly with the virus. They are pioneers and publicly declare their HIV–positive status. They are also film stars and are attractive to women. The three young men open up in a way seldom seen on screen.

This film gets to the heart of their lives and dilemmas. The Lesotho screenings seen in Ask Me I’m Positive are part of the Steps Outreach project, in which Steps films are screened using mobile cinemas to reach communities in remote areas. The personal narratives in the films are used to stimulate dialogue and debate and allow people to share information.

Principal Credits

Production Company:

Day Zero Film / Sesotho Media

Director:

Teboho Edkins

Producer:

Don Edkins Camera: Don Edkins / Teboho Edkins

Sound:

President Kapa

Editor:

Ronelle Loots

Script Development:

Mpaki Molapo

About The Director: Teboho Edkins was born in the USA and grew up in Lesotho, Germany, South Africa, and is presently living in France. This is his first film.

Questions For Discussion

  • How does the film make you feel?
  • What is this film about?
  • How do Thabo, Thabiso and Maolosi manage to live positively?
  • What are the challenges Thabo, Thabiso and Maolosi are facing when they disclose publicly?
  • How do you feel about people disclosing publicly?
  • What role have you played in showing acceptance of people who are openly living with HIV?

Director’s Comments:

Briefly describe what your film is essentially about?

The film Ask me I’m positive is essentially about Thabo, Thabiso and Moalosi who are three young HIV positive men who travel about Lesotho showing a STEPS film in which they feature, describing how they are coming to terms with their HIV status. So the film is about their work in the context of Lesotho. It is a film about using film on an educational and on a personal level, what it means for Thabo, Thabiso and Moalusi to be in a film, how it helps them come to terms with being HIV positive.

What was your experience in the making of your film?

The lasting impression I have of the experience of the making of the film really just spending time with the three main characters. Eating and drinking with them, discussing girls, past, present and future love affairs. We would sit about together giggling, wondering how long each one of them would remain healthy.

How would you describe the value of the message embodied in your film to potential audiences?

The film offers a unique, contemporary glance into how a small remote African county is dealing with the HIV crises both on a communal and on a personal level. It shows a remarkable initiative on how film is used to reach out to people, and what it means for them to see stories that are about their lives, their culture, in their own language. Stories that are real, that they can relate to. The message that the film embodies to them (and so to all potential audiences) is to show as realistic as possible a portrait of Thabo, Thabiso and Moalusi touring Lesotho.

How would you describe your film in the context of HIV/AIDS?

The film exists because of HIV/AIDS. The main characters are HIV positive, and the film shows how they try to communicate what HIV/AIDS is, give it a face and explain that it is not an immediate death sentence. The irony is that it is extremely difficult to convince people that HIV/AIDS exists, if you are as good looking, as fun loving, as healthy as Thabo seems.

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