Eat Bitter is a character-driven vérité film, set in the Central African Republic. This is one of the poorest areas in the world that is rising from the ashes. In the Central African Republic’s capital, Bangui, construction is flourishing. As in other African countries, skilled migrants from China drive this modernization. But behind this so-called progress, workers sacrifice their dignity, abuse their bodies, and spoil the environment to extract sand, an essential construction material. And this disappearing sand impels them to take ever more risks to obtain it. Through the parallel stories of Chinese immigrants and locals, the film captures the journeys of two opposed communities, cultures, and men. It chronicles how they learn to work together with the same goal in mind: to build a bank, a symbol of power and money.
Eat Bitter is a 2022 (Egg)celerator Lab Finalist.
ABOUT THE DIRECTORS
A Chinese national, Ningyi Sun (she/her) is a film director, writer, and producer. She has lived and worked on three continents and speaks English, French, and Portuguese. In 2023, she co-directed her first feature documentary, Eat Bitter. Currently based in New York, she is directing and producing her short documentary Act Before You Think about the Meisner acting technique, while co-writing a feature screenplay based on real events in the life of an immigrant sex worker in Queens, New York. In 2022, she produced, wrote, and acted in her first narrative short film, Intimate, which won Best Romantic Short at the Independent Shorts Awards. Before diving into the filmmaking world, she earned a master’s degree from Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and worked for the United Nations peace operation in the Central African Republic.
Pascale Appora-Gnekindy (she/her) hails from the Central African Republic (CAR) and is the owner of Kea-Kwis Production, a video production company in Bangui, CAR. In 2023, she co-directed her first feature documentary, Eat Bitter. In 2017, she directed My Eyes To Hear, a documentary short about a boy overcoming his disability in a land where the disabled are marginalized. The film was an official selection of The International Film Festival of Kinshasa and Festival Africlap. In 2019, she directed Two Sisters, about the journey of two sisters who struggle to find the right balance between their studies, their life at home, and their femininity. Pascale came to film production through the IT world. She started studying films in 2016 after being selected to participate in documentary filmmaking workshops organized by the French Alliance of Bangui and the Ateliers Varan.
ABOUT THE PRODUCER
Mathieu Faure (he/him) is a producer, editor, and independent filmmaker. He won the 2018 Student Academy Awards in the Domestic Documentary category for his personal film, An Edited Life. In 2018, he graduated from the News and Documentary Masters program at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at NYU.
Mathieu has worked for the CNN Documentary unit and Don Lemon’s team on his show, CNN Tonight. He also served as a field producer and worked on a series of documentaries for CNN + and Fareed Zakaria. Before moving to the US, Mathieu worked a reporter inside a breaking newsroom in Paris, France. He produced articles and video reports for M6 television. Mathieu graduated Magna Cum Laude from La Sorbonne University in Paris where he obtained his Master’s degree in Political Science.
Currently, Mathieu is a field producer at Apple.