The Unjust & Us, Inspired Risk's first feature-length documentary film.
"I want to know if you can take a box of darkness that someone has given you and turn it into a gift.
I was born a South African…a living, breathing testament to all of my parent’s hopes and dreams for the future. Whenever I come back here, I am reconnected with the core of who I am. Over the years, this country has fed my soul like the rain nourishes a plant’s roots. But, as time goes on, coming back here only gets harder. Things have happened here that I can’t understand...that I can’t explain. As a journalist, I’ve always been obsessed with understanding people and why they do the things they do. I am a storyteller, but these are stories I wish I didn’t have to tell.
My cousin was murdered for his car. My father’s brother, my uncle, was murdered for...for what I don’t know. I want to find a way for them to be remembered for their lives and not their deaths. I want to find a way through this pain, so that this place can nurture us all once again.
My name is Natasha Jones, I’m a broadcast journalist and writer. Growing up, I always knew my dad was a wild adventurer. From my first memories of him I knew he was unstoppable. He didn’t believe in impossibilities and he tested himself in every way. I was the only kid I knew whose dad slept in an oxygen deprivation tent to prepare for mountain climbs. I was the only kid I knew whose dad was in the newspapers and on tv for cycling crazy distances in record-breaking time. More importantly than all of that, I was the only kid I knew whose father showed them life could be limitless.
He showed me that in every way, from being the oldest Canadian to reach the summit of Mt. Everest to cycling across both North and South America in 139 days. He’s climbed the highest mountains on every continent, lost his big toes and thumbs to frostbite and almost died in the jungles of Indonesia, and yet, he still pushes forward. In his heart of hearts, I knew one of his dreams was to cycle across Africa, something he wished he could do with his older brother Nico. When Nico was murdered, that dream morphed into something much more profound. It would go beyond the simplicity of a physical adventure and we would turn it into a way of coping with the loss that had splintered so many lives in so many ways.
The goal is to cycle from the most southern point in South Africa, Cape L’Agulhas, to Cairo, Egypt. Through Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia and Sudan. This cross-Africa journey will profile Dr. Botha’s struggle to let go of his murdered brother, Nico Botha and my journey to come to peace with my cousin, Olwyn Cowley's killers. Working with documentary filmmaker, Ryan Jones, we will find stories of hope, and document what darkness and light others are going through.
This will be the first time I’ve ever joined my father on one of his adventures. He and I are alike in many ways but differ profoundly in others. He is a self-described impatient person. I am, in his words, too patient. Both a bit stubborn with our own ideas of adventure, we had no idea what to expect.
At the end of this journey, I will interview the man who murdered my cousin… and forgive him.
This is The Unjust & Us… This is a love letter to your killer."
Copyright Inspired Risk Productions