Gardner directs new Madonna movie

Documentary shows famine, poverty and AIDS in the developing world
Thursday , 13 March 2008
Gardner directs new Madonna movie

MADONNA's new Africa awareness documentary was directed and filmed by her personal gardener.

The pop superstar rewarded green-fingered multi-tasker Nathan Rissman by asking him to take charge of her new movie I Am Because We Are.

She explains, "He used to be my gardener... He's a brilliant, lovely guy - one of those guys who came into my life and did every job. He was a runner, an intern, a gardener.

"He took care of my kids. He did everything and he did it with humility. And everyone just grew to love him. And then he started doing these little movies of my children and sending them to me, and making films out of photographs and just being really creative.

"One day I said, ‘I need somebody to document this,' and then looked at him and said, ‘And that person is you.' He really stepped up to the plate."

Rissman took off to Malawi, Africa, to document Madonna's film, which she wanted to release to show that famine, poverty and AIDS in the developing world are problems that can be solved.

The singer adds, "He spent a lot of time in Malawi, literally sleeping on the floors of people's huts and waking up with chickens on his head.

"He really lived it and approached it with an open heart and so much gratitude.

"People opened their hearts to him. I couldn't have done that."