January 27, 2005: Headlines: COS - Benin: Documentaries: Television: Personal Web Site: RPCV Chris Starace films five part, three hour documentary about life in Benin on DVD

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Benin: Peace Corps Benin : The Peace Corps in Benin: January 27, 2005: Headlines: COS - Benin: Documentaries: Television: Personal Web Site: RPCV Chris Starace films five part, three hour documentary about life in Benin on DVD

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-48-182.balt.east.verizon.net - on Friday, January 28, 2005 - 8:38 pm: Edit Post

RPCV Chris Starace films five part, three hour documentary about life in Benin on DVD

RPCV Chris Starace films five part, three hour documentary about life in Benin on DVD

RPCV Chris Starace films five part, three hour documentary about life in Benin on DVD

Discovering Benin, West Africa
A five part, three hour documentary about life in Benin on DVD. -
On Sale now!

DVD Case and Insert Snap Shots

Airing Schedule on GO-TV (Greater Ossining-TV)

I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Benin from 1995-1997. Last July I went back for the first time since I left in 1997, and while I was there I filmed this five part documentary. I spent innumerable hours at my town's public access TV station using their professional equipment to edit the footage into a five part, three hour long documentary about Benin. Each episode contains subtitles, voice over commentary, and maps of Benin. The episodes and topics covered in each episode are below. Ordering information is also below.

Each episode features the Beninese singer Kaleta, and his song "Gbeto-Magnon" from from his latest album, Kaléta Jaa. He generously donated the usage of his song for this DVD.

1 Bonne Arrivée! (Approx. 30 mins)

Meet My Neighbors
Basenjis-Dogs indigenous to Benin
Getting Ready for our party
Beninese dance show: Bonne Arrive, Attendez Monsieur, Conga line, Magic Trick, etc.
Fish and Rice
Yovo's dance (or try I should say)
Everyone dancing
Episode Topics
2 Life in Allada (Approx. 30 mins)

Our hotel
A tour of my old Peace Corps house
Adjacome- (A tour of my neighbors' houses)
A tour of Allada
The Yovo song
Allada market
Bush taxis
Episode Topics
3 Business in Benin (Approx. 30 mins)

COPRATO- Tour of a Pineapple Drying Factory and Pineapple Fields
Angelo's shoe repair workshop
Jean's sculpture workshop and explanation of the apprenticeship process.
Jean's house under construction
Solange's middle class house and a her seamstress workshop
Arthur's cabinet and furniture making workshop
Episode Topics

Voodoo (Approx. 1 hour)

King of Allada and his royal palace
A tour of the village of Agongblame (the setting for the Gambara Voodoo Ceremony)
Gambara Voodoo ceremony- offerings, drumming, dancing, and dancers falling into trances
Having our Fah read by my bocono. (Fah priest) Fah is a traditional African form of divination like Tarot Card Reading.
Ja Voodoo cult chicken sacrifice ceremony ( Ja is a god that protects against snake bites and witchcraft)


Tourism Beninese Style (Approx. 30 mins)

A trip through Ganvie (the village on stilts built over a lagoon sometimes know as the "African Venice")
A Tour of the Village of Lissegazoun by motorcycle taxi
Crossing lake Ahemé in a pole propelled pirogue
The slave road in Ouidah: where slaves were marched to the beach and put on the slave ships.
Traditional fishermen on the beach of Ouidah: They are pulled up on the beach by hand
Gran Popo: the Beninese beach paradise

DVD Case and Insert Snap Shots

Ordering Information

NTSC* copies are ready for release! The cost will is $25 for all five episodes (two DVD's) including shipping anywhere in the world. All profits will be donated to my friends in Benin who appeared in the video. They are desperately poor and your purchase of the DVD's will help them tremendously.

To order a copy, pay with Pay Pal using your credit card or withdraw directly from your bank account. Send payments to my user ID which is the same as my e-mail address: cstarace@yahoo.com or use the "Buy Now Button".

You can mail me a check also. E-mail me and I'll give you my mailing address. When ordering be sure to give me your shipping address and which format you want: NTSC or PAL (see below for details)

Thanks for your interest and support!

Technical notes:


*NTSC is the video format used in the United States and in many other Countries. PAL is the video format used in Europe and in countries where NTSC is not used. Note that most computers equipped with a DVD drive will play both NTSC and PAL. Some stand-alone DVD players will play both NTSC and PAL but unless your television is a multi-system TV (not very common) your picture will be scrambled. Some DVD players convert the signal from one format to the other so check your equipment specifications before ordering. For more information about video formats as well as a list of which country uses which video format, click here: List of Countries and formats Video FAQ's

The DVD's used are recorded on -R DVD discs. Check your DVD player's manual to make sure your DVD player can read this DVD format. Most recent DVD players can read this format however older DVD players may not have this ability.

PAL DVD's will be available by mid-February.

DVD's not labeled "PAL" are recorded in the NTSC format.

GO-TV Airing Schedule

Beginning in January the series will be aired on GO-TV (Greater Ossining-TV, Channel 18) It is a Cablevision public access TV station so only Cablevision customers will receive it. To see if you should receive GO-TV go to the Coverage Area Page

To Get the current schedule go to the Schedule Page

A one and a half minute trailer video will air on GO-TV in December on Friday evenings at 9:00 as well as at other various times.

The series is scheduled to air on the following days and times starting the second week in January:
Mondays Noon to 1:30 Episodes 1, 2, 3
Wednesdays Noon to 1:30 Episodes 1, 2, 3
Thursdays 9:00 PM to 10:30 PM Episodes 4, 5
Saturdays 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM Episodes 1,2,3
Saturdays 9:30 PM to 11:00 PM Episodes 4, 5

The series will run for one month- probably Mid January into February.

The series will run again in future months in case you miss any episodes.

When this story was posted in January 2005, this was on the front page of PCOL:

January 22, 2005: This Week's Top Stories Date: January 22 2005 No: 391 January 22, 2005: This Week's Top Stories
Spread Freedom but not at gunpoint 22 Jan
Dodd has ring side seat at Inauguration 21 Jan
Peace Corps works in Georgia 21 Jan
Trey Aven monitored Ukraine elections 21 Jan
RPCV group makes quiet indie-pop 21 Jan
Anthony Shriver considers race for Florida Governor 20 Jan
Thomas Tighe says internet brought funds to DRI 20 Jan
Stacy Jupiter researches Australia ecosystems 20 Jan
Libby Garvey is education activist 20 Jan
David McIntyre captures medals on land and in water 19 Jan
Carol Bellamy new president of World Learning 18 Jan
Reed Hastings crossed "Latino Caucus'' 18 Jan
RPCVs sponsor Freeze for Food to aid Colombia farmers 18 Jan
RPCVs urge Bush to aid Democracy in Ukraine 17 Jan
Tom Petri proposes changes in student loan program 17 Jan
Golden Globe Win for Jamie Foxx in RPCV's "Ray" 17 Jan
Stephen Smith is new consul-general in Australia 17 Jan

Ask Not Date: January 18 2005 No: 388 Ask Not
As our country prepares for the inauguration of a President, we remember one of the greatest speeches of the 20th century and how his words inspired us. "And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man."
Coleman: Peace Corps mission and expansion Date: January 8 2005 No: 373 Coleman: Peace Corps mission and expansion
Senator Norm Coleman, Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee that oversees the Peace Corps, says in an op-ed, A chance to show the world America at its best: "Even as that worthy agency mobilizes a "Crisis Corps" of former Peace Corps volunteers to assist with tsunami relief, I believe an opportunity exists to rededicate ourselves to the mission of the Peace Corps and its expansion to touch more and more lives."
RPCVs active in new session of Congress Date: January 8 2005 No: 374 RPCVs active in new session of Congress
In the new session of Congress that begins this week, RPCV Congressman Tom Petri has a proposal to bolster Social Security, Sam Farr supported the objection to the Electoral College count, James Walsh has asked for a waiver to continue heading a powerful Appropriations subcommittee, Chris Shays will no longer be vice chairman of the Budget Committee, and Mike Honda spoke on the floor honoring late Congressman Robert Matsui.
RPCVs and Peace Corps provide aid  Date: January 4 2005 No: 366 Latest: RPCVs and Peace Corps provide aid
Peace Corps made an appeal last week to all Thailand RPCV's to consider serving again through the Crisis Corps and more than 30 RPCVs have responded so far. RPCVs: Read what an RPCV-led NGO is doing about the crisis an how one RPCV is headed for Sri Lanka to help a nation he grew to love. Question: Is Crisis Corps going to send RPCVs to India, Indonesia and nine other countries that need help?
The World's Broken Promise to our Children Date: December 24 2004 No: 345 The World's Broken Promise to our Children
Former Director Carol Bellamy, now head of Unicef, says that the appalling conditions endured today by half the world's children speak to a broken promise. Too many governments are doing worse than neglecting children -- they are making deliberate, informed choices that hurt children. Read her op-ed and Unicef's report on the State of the World's Children 2005.
Changing of the Guard Date: December 15 2004 No: 330 Changing of the Guard
With Lloyd Pierson's departure, Marie Wheat has been named acting Chief of Staff and Chief of Operations responsible for the day-to-day management of the Peace Corps. Although Wheat is not an RPCV and has limited overseas experience, in her two years at the agency she has come to be respected as someone with good political skills who listens and delegates authority and we wish her the best in her new position.
Our debt to Bill Moyers Our debt to Bill Moyers
Former Peace Corps Deputy Director Bill Moyers leaves PBS next week to begin writing his memoir of Lyndon Baines Johnson. Read what Moyers says about journalism under fire, the value of a free press, and the yearning for democracy. "We have got to nurture the spirit of independent journalism in this country," he warns, "or we'll not save capitalism from its own excesses, and we'll not save democracy from its own inertia."
RPCV safe after Terrorist Attack RPCV safe after Terrorist Attack
RPCV Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, the U.S. consul general in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia survived Monday's attack on the consulate without injury. Five consular employees and four others were killed. Abercrombie-Winstanley, the first woman to hold the position, has been an outspoken advocate of rights for Arab women and has met with Saudi reformers despite efforts by Saudi leaders to block the discussions.
Is Gaddi Leaving? Is Gaddi Leaving?
Rumors are swirling that Peace Corps Director Vasquez may be leaving the administration. We think Director Vasquez has been doing a good job and if he decides to stay to the end of the administration, he could possibly have the same sort of impact as a Loret Ruppe Miller. If Vasquez has decided to leave, then Bob Taft, Peter McPherson, Chris Shays, or Jody Olsen would be good candidates to run the agency. Latest: For the record, Peace Corps has no comment on the rumors.
The Birth of the Peace Corps The Birth of the Peace Corps
UMBC's Shriver Center and the Maryland Returned Volunteers hosted Scott Stossel, biographer of Sargent Shriver, who spoke on the Birth of the Peace Corps. This is the second annual Peace Corps History series - last year's speaker was Peace Corps Director Jack Vaughn.

Read the stories and leave your comments.

Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

Story Source: Personal Web Site

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Benin; Documentaries; Television



By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-48-182.balt.east.verizon.net - on Monday, January 31, 2005 - 9:42 am: Edit Post

To purchase the documentary go here. Instructions on how to purchase the dvd are half way down the page under "Ordering Information."

Best Regards,


Add a Message

This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.