Women in Africa
Dance can be used as a source of therapy where one can express their emotions whether it is positive or negative, through each movement. In the past and maybe still today, women in Tanzania were not allowed to speak about nor complain about the lack of support they get from their husband. Women in Tanzania use the movements of dance to portray how they are the actual providers in their family and to express how their husbands are useless to the necessities they need in their life. In the film Flora M’mbugu-Schelling, the filmmaker sets a goal of making sure the audience gains complete knowledge and visualization on the lives of women in Tanzania. The purpose of the film was to allow the audience to “finally” hear the voices of Tanzanian women and witness the vivid work they have to do in their everyday lives. The filmmaker immediately grabs the audience’s attention by starting off the film with the translated interviews. The filmmaker wanted to portray the material poverty of the Tanzanian women lives. For instance, Mama Costa interview was first to appear on the film. The interview took place at her house while she was in the mist of making food for her children and herself. Mama Costa explains her role as a woman which includes earning money to support her family. She farmed and would plant rice and maize in her field while her children would collect cashenuts to fry. They would sell the rice, maize and nuts in order to buy commodities that were beneficial to them (sugar and soap). After Mama Costa’s interview, the narration about the Tanzanian culture begins throughout the film along with the different scenes being shown. Women brewing beer, preparing vegetables, and making pots to sell was some of the scenes being shown. This not only introduced to the audience how the Tanzanian women make money, it helped them visualize how intense the work was. Mama Maria gained a skill of making pots and passed it down to her children hoping one day they will do the same. She makes these pots right outside her home with the accommodation of clay, wood and grass. When selling the pots, Mama Maria came to find out that her profit is very low. The pots were not expensive so she could not make enough money to feed her household. Sometimes she would exchange her pots for clay in order to create more pots to sell. The film emphasizes the diversity of work that will help keep the families alive within the East African culture. It shows shots of women making houses and it contrasts the rural and urban lifestyles. In the urban lifestyles, they do not farm or sell goods to make money. Women who are living the urban lifestyles work in offices (they are typewriters), own their own business, or sew. Women who live in the urban lifestyles dressed differently than those who lived in the rural lifestyles. Women in the rural area wore simples dresses whereas women in the urban area wore blue jeans or dresses that were tailored. The film continues to compare and contrast relationships amongst different groups in Tanzania to help the viewer understand the lifestyle of the women in the film. In the middle of the film, the filmmaker begins to cover the relationship between men and women and women and women. Mama Celite was smart enough to eliminate anything she believed was useless to her life. Throughout her interview, it was becoming clearer to the audience that the husbands of Tanzanian women were not benefitting their life. Mama Celite’s interview took place outside her house. She held her children displeased as she spoke upon the divorce she wanted with her husband. She mentioned how her husband did not contribute anything positive to her life. She felt as if he was making her poorer by having him as an extra mouth to feed. Mama Celite said her husband only knew how to marry he did not know how to provide for his family. She had to do everything by herself which included farming and...
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