Lior Sperandeo’s 'People of Drought' was quite tricky for us on how to perceive it. First we took it as a documentary, but it was a little bit too short and the events were presented way too briefly. Then we took it as a music video, but we read the director’s statement and we realized the purpose wasn’t necessarily this one either. So, in the end we decided to talk about it from both of the perspectives and let the reader decide which way this short goes.
First things first - when we started watching this short, and when we saw the faces and the eyes of the kids from Uganda we had our mind set on these particular lyrics that are so famous, we don’t even need to point out the author: “Imagine there's no heaven/ It's easy if you try/ No hell below us/ Above us only sky/ Imagine all the people/ Living for today (…)Imagine no possessions/ I wonder if you can/ No need for greed or hunger/ A brotherhood of man/ Imagine all the people/ Sharing all the world”. And we will add this to our documentary approach. Also, even though the camera work was covering many spectrums of the life in Africa, the clean water issue was very well pointed out and it is awfully easy to understand it from the first slow-mo shot of the small hand filling a plastic cup with dirty water; so in terms of suggestion, this short has really met our expectations!
Going on the other path, the one of the music video, the song that is also the score of the video is quite frankly an impressive piece. The match between the score and the video is perfect, and the slow and suave indie voice sets a calm and peaceful mood, even though the problem raised by the case presented is amazingly alarming.
So there you have it… we couldn’t decide how this should go, but we came to this conclusion: 'People of Drought' is a powerful and shocking documentary where we can easily see that words don’t mean a thing when the images can touch the heart in a brutal yet compassionate way, and the soundtrack comes in handy to make us realize that there is a way of making this world a better place, so as John Lennon wanted.
Written by Vlad A. G