Category Archives: Films

The First Grader

This film really spoke to the educator within. Based on a true story: 84-year old Kimani Maruge, who gave up his life fighting for his country’s independence, finds himself being denied the right to quality education. The battles he fights are not only with the administration, but also within himself. The teacher who supported him, Jane Obinchu, is also an inspiration.

This passionately-written post by the actress who played Jane tells of some parts of the filming process and follow-ups. It’s really touching to know that the crew left the community with more improvements than when they first arrived for filming.

“Learn until soil gets into your ears.”
– Kimani Maruge

Blackout (2009)

It was surprising to not find much information about this film on the net. There are apparently a lot more popular films out there with the same title.

The film follows a young French reporter as he shadows a Hutu student in Rwanda looking for his Tutsi fiance in the midst of the genocide. Although he starts off being confident about handling and reporting on the effects and trauma of war, the emotional and psychological toll on him is apparent by the end of the film. As a viewer, I felt something tug at my moral conscience as well. It’s the similar feeling I get when I see images of war and natural disasters on the news from the comfort of my computer screen.

http://www.bacfilms.com/international/film/30

The Clay Bird

A beautiful film. Portrays the spiritual, emotional and cultural struggles of a family during a time of political upheaval. The conflict and turmoil in the country reflected deeply in character development. Clever infusion of traditional musical performances with suggested and hidden messages. Poignant use of metaphors and subtlety.

“The bird’s trapped in a clay body
Its’ feet bound by worldly chains
It tries to fly but fails
The bird’s trapped in a clay body
Rainbow colored birds circle freely in the sky
Their brilliant splendor a rapture for the eye
The bird’s trapped in a clay body
Its’ feet bound by worldly chains
It tries to fly but fails
The bird pines with longing
It yearns to spread its wings
It wants to join the joyful birds
Leaving its fleeting home
The bird’s trapped in a clay body
Its’ feet bound by worldly chains
It tries to fly but fails
The clay bird laments
Why did you infuse my heart with longing
If you didn’t give my wings the strength to fly?
Its’ feet bound by worldly chains
It tries to fly but fails
The bird’s trapped in a clay body

 

Mother Fish

Between 1975 and 1996, over 1,500,000 people fled Vietnam. Of those, only 900,000 made it to land.
Refugees continue to arrive by boat even today.
According to the Refugee Council of Australia, “Fleeing by boat is often very costly and extremely dangerous, and asylum seekers are vulnerable to exploitation by smugglers. It is not a form of escape which would be willingly chosen by asylum seekers if safer options were available.”

I’ve also taken a personal interest in the area of music therapy and refugees, and this article came up in the search: Music Therapy Helps Refugees. The possibilities and potential seem endless, and I hope I get an opportunity to work in this area next year. .