A faceless figure stares deeply at, perhaps through you, its head covered by a mosaic of mirrors, and towering body shrouded in black. A precariously cloudy sky hangs overhead as the ocean beats an otherwise silent shoreline.
The opening scene for Sam Turpin’s musical short film for “Sahara Flow” doesn’t give away much, but it does a lot to pique my interest.
The next scene introduces us to a beautiful woman covered in white lace and pearls, sitting in the back-seat of a Benz in the middle of the desert, looking regal, relaxed, and somehow all-knowing as she waits. Cut away, and we’re met by four goddess-like women wrapped in dusty pink silk cloth. They know things, too.
Turpin’s character trudges barefoot through a desert and is handed an ancient sword by one of the goddesses, and a pair of crystal-encrusted stones by another. He finds the woman in the Benz, hops in, and is slipped a golden envelope containing a strip of film.
He is now fully-equipped and embarks on his mission to slay the proverbial dragon.
Of Egyptian-Jewish heritage, Sam Turpin samples a Jewish prayer — composed by musician Jessica Sherman — in the chorus, but the message and journey isn’t religious, it’s spiritual.
“Essentially the song is a metaphor for a spiritual journey that I’ve been on since I became an artist,” says Turpin. “After I lost my mother in 2011, I had to confront the world and my mind and soul were bombarded with the typical ‘Where am I going in this life?’ questions.”
Directed by South African-Persiain film maker, photographer and writer Katya Abedian, the film captures this metaphor with fashion-film-like elegance and beauty. Of the short film Abedian says, “’Sahara Flow’ is a soul’s journey, protected and guided by spirits that are no longer confined to this earth nor blinded by its distractions. They reflect the higher wisdom that there is no beginning nor end to the journey of our souls, only greater depths and stages of learning, understanding and sensitivity.”
“Sahara Flow” is an out-pouring of all the uncertainty in Turpin’s soul about life but, rather than deny and hide from it, he reaches a space in his life where he is ready to deal with his demons both known and unknown. I, for one, will closely be following the young rapper’s career as he slays his way through life and the South African music scene.