Kate Thompson Gorry
Kate Thompson Gorry
Born in Leigh-on-sea, England, raised in Cognac, France, Kate Thompson-Gorry has been directing award-winning primetime television shows and documentaries for the past fifteen years. As an Independent writer/filmmaker, Kate enjoys finding, developing and writing character based stories with a strong narrative potential, treating delicate and human subject matters around the world. Her last four films follow that philosophy:
A SHAMAN’S JOURNEY tells the story of one of the last shamans of the Kalahari Bushmen who leaves for the first time his remote village in North-Eastern Namibia to fly to the big city of Johannesburg to help solve a 40 000 year mystery shedding light on our universal past. This self-narrated feature documentary, commissioned by FranceTélévisions, opened the International Étonnants Voyageurs Film Festival, was selected in a number of International Festivals and honoured in Italy.
Delving deep into the waters of the Japanese Sea, AMA DIVERS offers an intimate insight into the lives of the women of Hegura, the most hardcore of the Japanese Ama pearl divers. This women-empowerment film follows the joys and tribulations of three generations of exceptional women free-divers in their everyday struggle for survival.
KAROO COWBOY tells the story of Seun Beukes, 29, a descendant of the Bushman living in the Karoo desert in South Africa. Already fraught with uncertainty, Seun’s life is thrown into further turmoil when, in the face of all reason, the country’s president declares that fracking is the miracle cure to South Africa’s energy crisis. Seun and his family are left with a stark choice: do they finally abandon the land of their ancestors or do they stand and fight for the only life they know?
And CHAOS IN THE KALAHARI, again commissioned by France Télévisions, the result of five years of filming in the Kalahari exposing the plight of the Kalahari San through the eyes of Bella Naxwe, 46, an endearing energetic mother of four, fighting for the survival of her family.
Kate lives and works in Paris, France.
When I first met Bella, in December 2011, I was instantly charmed. And, with this energetic woman as a guide, I discovered an authentic people, truly close to nature, much more traditional than I had anticipated. I was delighted by their simplicity and natural hospitality that somewhat blurred the uneasiness felt in the face of the extreme poverty surrounding it. But, being British, it was their sense of humour that truly conquered me.
So it was with enthusiasm that I returned to start filming, Summer 2012. I arrived with the feeling of returning to 'family'. I had not foreseen the events that were to follow; that I was to be the direct witness to the deprivation of what I consider to be one of the most fundamental rights: their freedom of movement.
Unforeseen circumstances and a long stay together in a shabby hotel forged a real intimacy between us. But, unlike Bella, it was as a free woman that I was to fly home and resume the course of my life.
In the meantime, I met and filmed another family of Kalahari San this time from Namibia fighting to defend her rights but Bella's words haunted me. "You know, Kate, I have no hope, I have no hope for what happens to us the Bushmen...". But in December 2013, the spokesmen of the Sans des Botswana held a press conference denouncing the violations of human rights and the silence of the government accompanying them. I heard it as a call to testify.
In June 2015 I finally got back to see Bella in Botswana. My cameraman and I have travelled as tourists for fear of reprisals from the government. We found Bella Namxe and his family. I also managed to contact Jumanda Gakelebone, one of the spokeswomen, who had denounced the government, which we were able to film clandestinely.
It is this story that recounts CHAOS IN THE KALAHARI.