Here’s a copy of Jared Orlin’s article on A MILLION COLOURS from the April 15th edition of South Africa’s YOU magazine. Fantastic article!

A MILLION COLOURS-Life After e’Lollipop_YOUmag



10 April 2010

It’s 7am. The sun – rather, a hint of the sun’s light – is coming up over the flat mountain. The clouds are low and ominous, and moving swiftly as the wind blows through the brush below. Round huts – yellow, blue, purple, green – with pointed thatch roofs are perched on the not-quite-terraced “1000 Hills”. Cattle herders are marching their bulls, women and children are carrying jugs to the well. The village is waking up to the squawks of chickens, the bleats of goats, and the sound of the film crew as they shout instructions while steadying the cameras on the slopes of the valley.

We’re in Zululand. Home of the Zulu nation. A tribe that is as rich in its history as in the colors and shapes that comprise its existence. And if on “action”, A MILLION COLOURS captures even a glimpse of this richness – tradition, culture, beauty – we’ll be making art.

Sawubona! Good morning!

A MILLION COLOURS shot for 3 days at the old, abandoned Kempton Park Hospital. If we were in America, I’d call it “Americana” at its best – a relic from another time and place. (Do I say “Africana” here?) It’s a fascinating relic here in Jozi, to say the least.

The hospital was shut down in 1997 and is allegedly haunted. Once a premier hospital in Gauteng province, it’s been sitting alone and abandoned – except for night security and the occasional film shoot – ever since. From the number of broken windows and graffiti on the walls, you can see that this place has been the object of many a ghost hunt. They say the ghosts from the psychiatric ward are the most mischievous. A few of the crew slept over, just to try to catch a glimpse of some crazy ghosts on the prowl. I admit, it was eerie at night, but I never felt my hair raise the way I usually do when ghosts are present (for example at the “Spook Walk” in elementary school). If you’re into this sort of thing, here’s a Facebook Group dedicated to this haunted hospital. You can live vicariously through the 7,957 other Kempton Park Hospital ghost hunters out there.

Ghosts aren’t really my thing, but everything else about this place is. And I mean everything, considering EVERYTHING from the hospital’s operational days is still within its walls, left standing and intact as in a mysterious reverence to days gone by. It’s as if in 1997 all the doctors, nurses and administrative staff put down their scalpels, stethoscopes, and notebooks and just up and walked away. They left behind hundreds of hospital beds; X-rays of teeth, lungs, and bones; rooms full of incubators; cabinets full of medicine, gauze and bandages; stacks of medical records – full handwritten reports (in Afrikaans) of patients’ medical histories, diagnostics and prescriptions; signs for the waiting rooms and newest vaccines; hospital intake and discharge logs; doctors’ ID badges; desks, chairs, stretchers…

Eerie – yeah, ok. Fascinating – most definitely. This is time standing still!