Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wangari Maathai - A Dramatic Story - Part 4

The trees continue to grow. Today there are more than 6,000 Green Belt nurseries throughout Kenya that generate income for 150,000 people, and thirty-five million trees have deeply altered the physical and social landscape of the country. The Green Belt Movement has also started programs teaching women about indigenous foods, income generating activities, AIDS, and self-empowerment. Through cinema verité footage of the tree nurseries and the women and children who tend them, TAKING ROOT brings to life the confidence and joy of people working to improve their own lives while also ensuring the future and vitality of their land.

Dr. Maathai planting a tree
Through intimate conversations with Maathai, whose warm, powerful, and luminous presence imbues much of the film, TAKING ROOT captures a world-view in which nothing is perceived as impossible, presenting an awe-inspiring profile of one woman's thirty-year journey of courage to protect the environment, ensure equality between men and women, defend human rights, and promote democracy--all sprouting from the achievable act of planting trees.

Dr. Maathai stresses a point
In her Nobel Peace Prize speech, Wangari Maathai said, "Although initially the Green Belt Movement's tree planting activities did not address issues of democracy and peace, it soon became clear that responsible governance of the environment was impossible without democratic space. Therefore, the tree became a symbol for the democratic struggle.

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