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Umoja
No Men Allowed
A film by Elizabeth Tadic
Australia/Kenya, 2010, 32 minutes, Color, DVD, Samburu, Subtitled
Order No. W111032
UMOJA (Kiswahili for “unity”) tells the life-changing story of a group of impoverished tribal Samburu women in Northern Kenya who turn age-old patriarchy on its head by setting up a women-only village. Their story began in the 1990s, when several hundred women accused British soldiers from a nearby military base of rape. In keeping with traditional Samburu customs, the women were blamed for this abuse and cast out by their husbands for bringing shame to their families.

Learning of their plight, Rebecca Lolosoli, a tireless women’s rights advocate, helps the banished women establish a new village, Umoja, on an unoccupied field in the grass­lands. No men are allowed. Soon the women turn their fate around, launching a handicrafts business targeting the tourist trade. Their success and increasing fame incurs the men’s jealousy and wrath, setting off an unusual, occasionally hilarious, gender war. But in this award-winning documentary, which deftly blends fast-paced reportage with serious social critique, women who have reclaimed their lives clearly emerge the victors.



AWARDS, FESTIVALS, & SCREENINGS


Winner, Panavision Grand Jury Award, 2011 Palm Springs International ShortFest
Winner, Human Rights Award – Short, 2011 Artivist Film Festival

  • International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA)
  • First Factual Films Festival, Winner, Inaugural F4 Award for Outstanding New Documentary Talent
  • Byron Bay Film Festival, Australia
  • Athena Film Festival
  • Cleveland International Film Festival
  • Sarasota Film Festival
  • Cleveland International Film Festival
  • Salt Spring Film Festival
  • Montreal Black Film Festival

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QUOTES

    “[An] inspiring story....Highly recommended for both high school and universities.”
    Margot Nash, Senior Lecturer
    Creative Practices, University of Technology, Sydney

    “The women of Umoja have rewritten traditional tribal laws and now have a taste for freedom. The finale in this unlikely gender war is a showdown between the intractable women and a village chief sent in to resolve the conflict. But there’s simply no turning back for these women.”
    Byron Bay International Film Festival

    “…the filmmaker delves into the tragic circumstances that forced these women into their decision. …the Samburu women are reluctant to give up on the joy and strength they find in doing for themselves, and defending one another.”
    ChicagoNow.com

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    Umoja is included in the following Special Collections.
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SPECIAL COLLECTIONS

WMM offers film collections on a variety of specific subject areas, including the collections MUSLIM: Behind the Veil, BODY IMAGE: Women & Young Girls, and AFRICA IS A WOMAN'S NAME.

Deep discounts are available when you purchase multiple films. More details.



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Women Make Movies is a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization which facilitiates the production, promotion, distribution, and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women. contact us