Umoja

No Men Allowed

A film by Elizabeth Tadic

Australia/Kenya | 2010 | 32 minutes | Color | DVD | Samburu | Subtitled | Order No. 111032

SYNOPSIS

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.

PRESS

“[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

SCREENING HIGHLIGHTS AND AWARDS

  • Winner, Panavision Grand Jury Award, 2011 Palm Springs International ShortFest
  • Winner, Human Rights Award – Short, 2011 Artivist Film Festival
  • First Factual Films Festival, Winner, Inaugural F4 Award for Outstanding New Documentary Talent
  • Byron Bay Film Festival, Australia
  • Montreal Black Film Festival
  • Salt Spring Film Festival

ABOUT FILMMAKER(S)

Elizabeth Tadic

Elizabeth Tadic is an international award-winning journalist and filmmaker. Over the past decade she has filmed, directed and produced a number of stories for SBS television's international program "Dateline". Her desire to explore issues that affect marginalized peoples has taken her to some of the world’s most troubled regions including Nigeria, Kenya, Pakistan and Israel’s Gaza Strip. She has won several awards for her films including a 2006 United Nations Media Peace Award and a 2007 Rory Peck - Sony Impact Award. Most recently, Elizabeth’s documentary "UMOJA: No Men Allowed" premiered at IDFA 2010 and won the Inaugural F4 Award for Outstanding New Documentary Talent at 2010 AIDC. (3/11)

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