Maasai at the Crossroads, Mozambique and Coexist Film Screening

The 7th Annual Artivist Film Festival and Awards presents a screening of these three films as part of the festival which runs December 1-4, 2010.

Saturday, December 04, 2010
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Egyptian Theatre
6712 Hollywood Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90028

These films all screen on Sat., Dec. 4, starting at 2PM.

“Maasai at the Crossroads”
Directors: Joe Dietsch, Kristin Jordan

Screening followed by Filmmaker Q&A Panel featuring UCSB professor Stephan Miescher, filmmakers Joe Dietsch and Kristin Jordan, producer/president of CSAfrica Stephan McGuire, founder of ASK Teri Gabrielsen, & Maasai director of health clinic in Masai Mara Jackson Rereu Njapit.

In MAASAI AT CROSSROADS, the struggles of the Maasai tribe are chronicled as they attempt to modernize while maintaining their traditional culture.  Since the most direct route, of such a society towards modernization, is Education, the framework of the film is structured around the non-profit organization, Africa Schools of Kenya (ASK).  A Speaker Program was conducted over March and April 2009.  ASK is an educational curriculum that introduced experts in their area of expertise and their outside influences to the tribe - deeply influencing the worldview of the students, as will [sic, should be well] as the adults/elders.  The external factors forcing the Maasai to modernize are the current drought and the encroaching influence of civilization.  The questions asked are:  What elements of any culture are important? / What should be preserved and what can be left behind? / Will the children return to the traditional Maasai way of life after being exposed to the modern world?  If so, why? / What elements of the Maasai culture define them as a people? / How are the Maasai integrating modernization to aid themselves in becoming stewards of their land? / And why is this so important?

Director:  Alcides Soares

Alcides Soares is a sixteen-year-old AIDS orphan, one of half a million living in Mozambique today.  An American television writer (Neal Baer) and movie director (Chris Zalla) gave Alcides a movie camera and taught him how to shoot.  The result is a moving chronicle directed by Alcides himself.  His journey to find a family and make a new life in a country that has been ravaged by AIDS is a story repeated millions of times every day throughout Africa.  As Alcides's story unfolds, we meet the orphans of Reencontro, an organization in Moputo [Maputo] that provides these children with bare sustenance.  The Reencontro orphans were also taught photography by a group of American and Mozambican photographers and provided with still cameras so they could tell their own stories about the impact of AIDS on their lives.  Their pictures, sometimes tragic, often hopeful and always honest, appear throughout 'MOZAMBIQUE' as a reminder that these children's voices must be heard.  In telling his story, Alcides finds an elderly woman to live with and, unexpectedly, is reunited with his younger brother whom he hasn't seen in ten years.  AIDS tears families apart, but the resilience of children like Alcides can make new families out of tragedy.  [Alcides Soares participated in Venice Arts' project in Mozambique, The House Is Small But The Welcome Is Big, and the film was produced by Neal Baer, Dick Wolf, Peter Jankowski, Arthur Forney and Chris Zalla in collaboration with and through the support of Venice Arts and the African Millennium Foundation. Executive Producer: ByKids. -]

Director: Adam Mazo

When hate persists, how will you coexist?  Both survivors and perpetrators of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide face the painful reality of answering this question every day.  Today, Rwanda's government is releasing many prisoners who participated in the slaughter of 500,000 Tutsi and moderate Hutu.  Most convicts return to the villages where they once terrorized their neighbors.  Coexist examines Rwanda's precarious and sensitive experiment of 'forced reconciliation'.  The government strongly urges killers and survivors to come together in workshops, seminars, and healing groups where they are asked to confront each other and share their feelings.  The film explores if these emotionally explosive interactions can build peaceful coexistence and begin the process of re- humanization.  The policy of required reconciliation appears to work in some cases.  However, the real-life politics are complicated, a repressive Tutsi-led authoritarian government hasn't answered for its slaughter of thousands of civilians.  After stopping the genocide, conquering soldiers systematically murdered Hutus to take control.  Today, dissent is not tolerated and dissenters are disappearing.  Murderers continue to kill genocide survivors to keep them from testifying in genocide trials.  Coexist features women who survived the genocide but are again in mourning, because of continued violence designed to intimidate and exterminate people because of their identities.  How they feel about coexisting with killers is stunning.  Facing these immense challenges, survivors and killers in Coexist explain how they cope living together with former enemies.  Can they possibly reconcile or even peacefully coexist?

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Cost : Free and open to the public; go to website to reserve tickets.

Artivist Film Festival and Awards