Lauri Kubuitsile’s award-winning novel about the Herero genocide is envisaged as a European/southern African co-production.
Penguin Random House South Africa is delighted to announce that film rights to The Scattering have been acquired by international production company Mycroft Berlin GMBH. Producers Johannes von Jena and Hans-Christian Mahnke envisage a Southern African/European co-production. The agreement was negotiated by Aoife Lennon-Ritchie at The Lennon-Ritchie Agency.
Winner of the Sharjah best International novel award, The Scattering is set against the backdrop of southern Africa’s colonial wars at the dawn of the twentieth century, and traces the fates of two remarkable young women – a Herero and an Afrikaner – whose paths cross after each has suffered the devastation and dislocation of war. This moving and intimate novel provides a fascinating glimpse into the indomitability of the human spirit. Beautifully rendered, it was also listed as a Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction recommendation.
Says producer Hans-Christian Mahnke from Windhoek, ‘When I first read The Scattering, the intriguing storyline was so well told that it played out as a movie in front of my inner eye. Given the colonial amnesia by the majority of the German society, I immediately felt that the story told in The Scattering must be shared with wider German and global audiences in the form of a film.’
Referring to the genocide perpetrated by the German state between 1904 and 1908 in what is now Namibia, he says, ‘Namibians know that history. Yet not many outside Namibia are aware of it. The pain caused has not been recognised nor really internalised by the society of the perpetrators. Kubuitsile's book provides a great starting point for that conversation and shift in memory. Turning the story into a film would enable more people, not only in Germany but around the world, to benefit from this brilliant story, as it brings us closer to mutual understanding, empathy and hopefully reconciliation.’
Lauri Kubuitsile is the author of many works of fiction for children and adults. Her most recent novel published by Penguin Random House is But Deliver Us from Evil. Kubuitsile was the 2007 winner of the BTA/Anglo Platinum Short Story Competition and the recipient of the Botswana Ministry of Youth and Culture’s Orange Botswerere Award for Creative Writing in the same year. She has twice won the Golden Baobab Prize for children’s writing, and was shortlisted for the 2011 Caine Prize and 2017 winner of the Sharjah best international novel prize. She lives in Botswana.
by Lauri Kubuitsile
Moving and intimate, Kubuitsile’s novel provides a fascinating glimpse into the indomitability of the human spirit.