Let me just start off by saying this is an excellent DVD. In 2004, Chris Starace and his wife Cara traveled to Benin to revisit the country Chris served in as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer. Chris doesn't gunk up his documentary with incessant commentary, but rather allows the viewer to quietly watch the Beninese people live their lives. That's not to say there aren't explanations of various things. Chris does a good job explaining how people gather their water, why the kids follow you around everywhere, and other aspects of life in Benin.
What can you expect in this documentary? Here's a quick run down of the contents:
Episode 1 - Bonne Arrivée: (30 mins)
Episode 2 - Life in Allada (35 mins)
Episode 3 - Business in Benin (30 mins)
Episode 4 - Voodoo (60 mins)
Episode 5 - Tourism Beninese Style (35 mins)
The first episodes 1, 2 and 5 are great for anyone to watch. Episode 3 did drag a little and probably wouldn't hold the attention of younger children. Episode 4 with the voodoo ceremonies may actually be disturbing for younger children with the women falling into trances and the chicken sacrifice. I do wish there were just a few more explanations during the voodoo ceremony, however I also feel fortunate Chris was able to film the ceremony and allow us to view it.
The cost of this DVD documentary is $25 and all profits from the documentary go back to the Beninese people in the DVD. You can go to Chris's site Fon is Fun for more information about Discovering Benin, West Africa.
Chris details how the profits have helped people in Benin with education expenses, medical expenses, mosquito netting, a new roof, and more. You can read his yearly updates here - How the profits from the sale of the DVDs and donations are used.
This copy of "Discovering Benin West Africa" was purchased by me with my own funds.