symbolic photo by Susanne Haerpfer


The current issue of Spiegel magazine shows a dragon-fly,

whose whole magnificence is becoming visible only if watched with the equivalent background.



The movie “Tears of sun” as well. It starts with the graphics of a dragon-fly which could be the the company´s logo. The German word “Libelle” has the second meaning of water level and spirit level at the same time. Meaning the level of altitude helicopters and planes use for orientation. When seeing dragon´s fly a plane is about to ditch. The instruments are likely being jammed. T h e topic of the “Die harder”-series. And issue of top priority for the USA – according to General Accounting Office, Department of Defense and other governmental institutions.

It is one of the key topics of “Tears of the sun” as well. Though it is not said explicitly. There seem to be many obstacles to make this movie come on screen. Listening to the subtext one has to come to the conclusion that realizing this movie was more difficult than surviving civil war in Nigeria.



This, one has to take into consideration when criticizing the movie. Putting it that way that probably there exists a concept of an ideal movie if there weren´t obstructive and ignorant forces sabotaging this ideal.

„Warum sollte uns jemand folgen?“

Why anybody should watch?

Why anybody should understand what we are doing?

Why anybody should do what we are doing?

Why should anybody be against us?

Why should anybody follow us for being rescued?

Why should anybody follow us in order to kill us?

All potential translations and/or interpretations of the one sentence.

Each of them – correct. Each of them possible. Each of them making sense. Aiming at: what one sees and hears and understands depends on many factors resulting in completely opposite consequences.

“Eight perspectives” – so to say. “Und ewig grüßt das Murmeltier” – repeating „Die harder“ as long as it takes till at least enough people understand and act in a different way.

Or in German “Lola rennt”.

One incident. One sentence. And then?

Legitimate. In the movie one line goes: „There are several scenarios. I don´t pretend to know them all.“

Can be a pretext.

Can be deceit.

Can be a lie.

Can save lives.

Can save a movie.

If it´s saving content.

From a “blockbuster movie” some people expect that diametral opposite opinions should be united – for the sake of resulting surplus.

In a positive way this miracle can be watched in the movie “Tears of the sun”.

One problem: those who know already will enjoy discovering all the small hints as an intellectual delicacy. Those who don´t know, not necessarily will know more after having watched the movie. There is a chance that they will, but without any guarantuee. It can well be that they interpret in a way, that director and others will flee from. And this probably is the reason why originally one invented the making of and the director´s cut – befor this mode of presentation was turned into a marketing tool as well.

So what´s it all about?

The official selling line says

In the dschungel of Nigeria there is a Protestant mission to be rescued. The hero [Bruce Willis] will lead the rescue mission.

He has success. Obiously. High percentage of perfect close up pictures. Guaratueed by contracts. Control on the version to be aired and sold and seen. Final approval. High percentage of close up shots of the good hero. Instead of violence and action and shoot outs for their own sake. No hurt buddies on set. Reality already is tough enough.

“You need a doctor” – another of those sentences. With a lot of potential explanations in an online version:

It´s the opening line when the hero appears.

Ah so that´s him – bringing back order.

Sarcasting remark by the hero – also possible. So you ruined it and now you need somebody to fix it.

Cynicle state of the fact – situation is havoc and a public relation and propaganda spin doc is needed.

For what for whom?

So somebody backed the wrong ones and now this has to be covered up and repaired at the same time?

Summary of the situation. After terrorist George Habbasch another medical doctor turned up as chief of terror  this time in Africa.

Medical equipment as x-rays are a weapon.

Then the translation has been incorrect and should have been:

Yea – you need “radiotherapy”

Is pure sarcasm.

When more soldiers die in camp x-ray than in a battle.

When medical deliveries are allowed into a country even in times of embargo  that´s the cover being used.

By those in the country.

And those flying in.

Religious mission can be positive. But isn´t by word. There are such and such.

The “Lord´s resistence movement” is organized crime – equipped as militia or even regular army.

Against them

There are christians in action. And there are christians in action – cia – for some this is automatically good; for others this is automatically bad. And then there is something in between.

And what if those who used to be in the same alliance overdo it? When does one fall apart? Who is going to be in the rescue helicopter?

It is this vital question of survival

That is the main theme of the movie.


How difficult to do such a movie

And survive it.

Without deceit those who counted on support.

Without needing rescue oneselve in the end, either.

Can this be done?

Difficult task, if one wants to see it, one can.

Nothing to long for. More of a task to fulfill as obviously there isn´t anybody else who does it.

Too many

Living in only one world.

But the world is not enough. Those who are too blue eyed – will need a script doctor as it won´t work in the movie biz. And they won´t recognize the lobbyists and the over up prosa and the interest groups. The cynical aren´t the right ones either. Those who just think of opening figures and selling lines and copy tests and marketing quota will not do any good. Their concept works at a New York desk but lead to deceit of the audience and the portrayed people. Those who pretend that the movie is about people who need a doctor either lie or don´t know about interests. Or misuse the longing of a broad audience for good stories about good people doing the right things whereas tin reality won´t give a dam.

7 %?

Of revenue? Market share? Income? Fair share? Profit? Turn over? Marketing percentage? Audience? Under 15? Under 25? Under 30? Over 50? Poor? Rich? 7 %? Tax? Kick back? Return?

Why should anybody follow?

“Sofort absetzen!”

The director? Chief of finance? Fire?

Or: Escape? From what? From where? And how!

Distinguish? From whom? When to follow the majority? When to do the opposite?

To stop the broadcast?


Who says that?

Or to stop taking a remedie? Which one? With which consequences?

A whole nation?

What can be seen, is a helicopter approaching. Landing


The hero needs a doctor. Visible is a scar.

There are always scars.

When fighting for social security safety nets

Together with people

Who oppose this idea

Though needing it the most


Deceiting their own bunch of people

In order to pay the bills


While accusing others the very same.


Para – docs

Parabellum 9 mm as the only language understood.

If nothing else helps.


Paradox – the less lethal weapon

In an age with weapons of mass destruction

Are Not called weapons

And too often

Not even recognized as weapons:


Iation – invisible deadly weapon.

Being around in Nigeria on a large scale. Used in the oil industry. For detection and exploration. As well as original uran in soil.

It´s not about oil alone.

It´s about nuclear weapons as well.

And about even deadlier weapons.


Sample of Shell oil photographed by Susanne Haerpfer

Drilling and other techniques originally developed for exploration purposes have become the object of interest itself:

Potential weapons of mass destruction.

Desaster happening in the past

Recognized as an assett for terror. Bringing back desaster and devastation to where it all started. Earth quakes and turmoil.

When having realized this

It might be too late

Even for those who have been portrayed as being the tough ones befor.

And which Navy Seal is capable of saying

We were wrong – giving deadly tools who know how to use them – now its us asking for bail out.

Sympathy with the devil.

Difficult task.

But – remember – it´s them today, then it will be us tomorrow.

On the one hand.

On the other.

What to do with those who are the bad guys?

The last helicopter.

Whom are you going to take with you?

In the movie one sees people who relied on the crew being taken out of the ring of fire.

And being disappointed when left behind.

Relieved when the helicopter turns and the crew returns.

Leading from the ground.

Anybody around here

Knowing what this is?

Bruce Willis is asking in the movie. Holding a hand grenade in the shape of a mobile phone. A multi-task-tool. It enables to be located and locates actively at the same time. A timer as well. Triggering off all kinds of explosive devices. Exposes hidden bombs. Being one. Interfering with electronics on board of planes. As military experts´magazine „Jane´s“ reported. In addition to jamming and spoofing. Endangering and asking for support. A dual use item. Deceiting those who rely on it alone. Spoof works not only with planes leading to crashes, but on ground as well. Pretending frontiers where there aren´t any. Pretending false boundaries. People looking for refuge being mislead.

Good if then there is a crew around who is not focussed on sales´figures alone.

Balance instead of balance.

Or how soon the angle changes sometimes as soon as the marketing people are hijacked. Then one has to make public which befor had of no interest befor. On the same time a good thought being misused, when out of balance being nothing but terror.

Revolution studios

Is stated in the beginning.

A statement? A hint?

Those who support revolutions because they seem to be the right thing?

Or those who still think to do the right thing but are used for coup d´etats instead.

For cover ups of military interventions.

Or publishing production circumstances?

Revolting studios.

The conditions some are working in – and nothing glitzi about it.

Some need a doctor. Perhaps more so than those they are portraying.

But not being allowed to say so without being bashed as politically incorrect.

Who is belonging to which group?

Who may take the last helicopter out?

Only those who do have the current look according to representative polls? The others need a so called beauty doctor and this has to be hidden in the balance.

And for this selling out their own country, selling out their own interest in the mid and long term.

It´s all about the balance.

To be able to see

The difference

Between naively blue-eyed

Right – wing rascist

And differentiate.

There does exist a Nigerian movie industry. A partner to cooperate with.

But there is a Nigerian mafia as well one has underestimated for a long time. Or accepted for a long time. For the sake of oil and nuclear fuel revenues. Alliance of silence. Alliance of fear.

Instead of public source. Open source. On orphan sources. Being the name of nuclear material without official owner. Having disappeared from medical clinics for example. From orphans. Where kids without parents who could trigger off liabel suits, were used for testing radiation and other weapons of mass destruction.

Radiation is the tears of the sun – a poetic explanation could be.

Where are we?

„Wir sichern uns einen Platz in der Ersten Reihe bei Ethnischer Säuberung“, is a quote from the movie.

Hard boiled quote? Cynical? Maybe. But probably realistic.

Either this way. Or the other.

In the end it will be

Who is going to be in the last helicopter out?



Another country does not automatically mean more just. Or less just. Just different, and sometimes same.

Same same but different.

Die harder in Nigeria.

Jenseits von Afrika

Might be the dream come true. Yes – there must have been that wish. Once. A good story. A good location.

One sees it. Very briefly. For three seconds. Or four. In total.

Gigantic sceneary.

Helicopter approaching. Two in a row.

Perfect harmony.

The way it could be. The second that could last.


Reality weren´t different. The prize for such idealistic movie must have been too high.


In Nigeria

Could have been –


Instead of deadly. Finally. If one had not saved on research before. Who are the relevant parties? Which interests do they serve? Who are the good ones? Who are the bad ones? Is it possible to make a visual nice movie without serving propaganda purposes? Is it possible to make a movie without action and violence without serving propaganda purposes? In order to make violence visible eliminating it? Leaving it out of the movie?

In order to make the movie fast

Make it slow.

As the high speed camera does the opposite. It is slooooow, devides every drop of the water into single pictures. In order to make visible the extraordinary.

One take in the movie.

Demonstrating the philosophy behind it.

How the security men see it. In slow motion.

In advance.

It´s about two seconds.

Meaning a life time.

Two seconds in advance makes four.

Two in the negative and two in the positive. It´s all about balance.

Death is a lady – is a saying, at least that´s what they wrote in Vietnam times.

See you in Nigeria.

yellow smoke ……………….

yellow smoke – again. Helicopters crashing.

The rotor in the look of a tool out of a nuclear power plant. And that´s exactly what it´s all about as well. Dual use goods.

Weapons of mass destruction.

About bird cages.

A code word for nuclear bombs, according to the book “Defusing Armageddon”.

To be heard in the beginning.

Birds voices. Being the mode of communication of hit and run extracting teams.

At the same time the first hint to one background of the movie, left in the oscure: Chinese interests in Nigeria.


Chinese helicopters.


Electronic chips.

Tiny little components.

Making helicopters fly. Or not.

Stopping helicopters from firing.

Too dangerous. Too touchy – it´s ok to shoot people but not to disturb diplomatic relations, a sarcastic remark could be.

Abuja is the capital of Nigeria. And Chinese per given name. Or the contrary. As Bu is Chinese and says no.

And too difficult allegedly. To differentiate. That there are good Chinese and bad Chinese. James Bond has managed this, but..

Who finances the movie? Who finances the mission? Who finances whom in Nigeria? Who has got which business interests? In the US? In China? In Nigeria? Who is holding how many shares in which companies? It is which stakes we are talking about?

It is who delivering which weapons? Conventional ones. WMD. Who is producing the cheap electronics. Which is very costly in the end.

Is it as in Pakistan? With weapons coming from China. And nobody dares to say so.

Is it this the protagonist had to find out during running production. The visual attrative movie was a nasty one. The mission a covered terror nest going for armageddon, as “god already has left Africa a long time ago” as one quote is.

Some intended to film a movie and found out they were in a documentary. With everybody stuck. The good ones and the bad ones and the crew in the middle.

What looked as an easy movie ended up in hell. What looked like an exercise turned out to be reality. Better know in advance. But better balance preparedness from trigger off terror which befor has not been there.

“We don´t fly into Nigerian air space anylonger.”

Is a death verdict for those who relied on a crew. Who did not take the time to foresee that such an escalation can happen. “Proof of life” and security experts left in insecurity.

Who may enter the last helicopter out?


Why is there a necessity for this question?

Instead of staying in harmony.

Once again – no way out, going into pension with a last movie, one could identify with being different and extinct and special – setting an exclamation mark.

Die harder takes longer. Still no time for romance.


PHOTOGRAPHED BY Susanne Haerpfer

PHOTOGRAPHED BY Susanne Haerpfer