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Developing World

Developing World


In Nairobi's Korogocho slum, a group of former thieves trying to go straight now provide an informal motorcycle taxi service.

Boniface is trying to convince his friend Kama to go straight and think about the future. But in a slum like Nairobi's Korogocho, where crime and violence are rife, is his mission possible? Boniface is one of the founders of the motorcycle boys, a team of young men who used to steal from their neighbors, but now provide an informal motorcycle taxi service around Korogocho. Kama is one of their latest recruits. They argue about money and crime, and a central question of slum rehabilitation: Is it better to start upgrading the place, or the people?

DVD / 2010 / (Grades 10-12, College, Adult) / 26 minutes

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As Egyptian industry is undermined by Chinese imports, Hassan, a university graduate, takes up the government's offer of free land to farm

When Hassan's wife first saw the plot of land that was to be their new home, she said, "I can only see the sky connected to the desert," and refused to get out of their car. But Hassan had decided to come and live here. After realising that growing Chinese imports were fast undermining Egypt's industry, the government began offering land to any graduate willing to farm it. Hassan took the offer, and he was not the only one. Across the Middle East, two out of every three people are now under the age of 25, and the bustling cafes of Egypt's capital Cairo teem with young people who can't find work in the metropolis. Have Hassan and 40,000 other graduates been true pioneers, when the knowledge economy worldwide isn't providing enough jobs?

DVD / 2010 / (Grades 10-12, College, Adult) / 26 minutes

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The adults of Kibera are working hard to offer kids a safe and stimulating haven in pre-schools.

Slumdog Millionaire, City of God...you could make a box office hit from the lives of kids in Kibera, the biggest slum in sub Saharan Africa. Even before they go to school here, children must run the gauntlet of Kibera's crazy and even violent street life.

Scientists warn that stress can raise levels of the hormone cortisol, permanently altering the architecture of young brains. But while stress can be a problem, so can too little stimulation - as scientists discover how important interaction is for childhood development. Experts disagree how critical the first five years are and whether more funding should be diverted to early childhood development. But many of those who set the agenda for global development now regard early childhood as a key priority.

The adults of Kibera are working hard to offer kids a safe and stimulating haven in pre-schools. Pre-school is a safe space for the kids, somewhere they can develop peacefully and-in theory-become less violent adults. But many parents can't afford the ten dollars a month in fees.

For parents and teachers of children like Nasuru, Brian and Patience in this episode of Early Life, pre-school also brings dilemmas. Should it reflect traditional African social values, or the West's more individualistic outlook?

DVD / 2009 / (Grades 9-12, College, Adult) / 25 minutes

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Charles Stewart, whose 1984 film alerted the world to the Ethiopian famine, returns to check whether the people he filmed then are now free from danger.

In 1984, Charles Stewart shot the first film to alert the world to the terrible famine taking place in Korem, in Ethiopia. It helped trigger the 1985 Live Aid concert, leading in turn to the largest public donation of aid ever seen. Now in his 70s, Charles and his partner, Pat Scott Robson, return to Ethiopia to find the folks he filmed then. Swapping his vintage motorbike for Africa's chaotic buses, they travel across the country to to find out if, under the new government of Ethiopian President Meles Zenawi, they're finally free from danger.

DVD / 2009 / (Grades 10-12, College, Adult) / 26 minutes

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Directed by Alex Gabbay

Three Muslim students face a choice between their faith and their future.

On the beautiful island of Lamu on the eastern coast of Kenya, three young footballers have just graduated from school summa cum laude, but cannot get hold of the school certificates they need for university or to find jobs until they pay their hefty school fees arrears. Until then, the certificates remain locked in a rusting filing cabinet in the headmaster's office.

They could get work in Lamu's booming tourist industry, which has brought an influx of pop stars, models and glitterati-and much needed income-to the island over the past 15 years. But tourism has also introduced alcoholism, drugs and soaring house prices that are threatening the local Islamic culture and way of life.

One of our young protagonists, Arafat, isn't worried. His faith is strong enough, he claims, to withstand the lure of the West, and he's happy to earn money providing boat services for tourists on the dhows that ply their trade along Lamu's coast. But his schoolmates, and fellow footballers, Adbulkarim and Abubakar, are reluctant to get involved with the tourists whose dress and habits they regard as corrupting and opposed to Islam.

But how else will they earn enough to secure their precious certificates-and their future? And can the West really offer a model of globalization that will win over Lamu's young men? What future will our three young protagonists choose?

DVD (Color, Closed Captioned) / 2008 / (Grades 7-12, College, Adult) / 25 minutes

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Directed by Caroline Pare

Dominic Ongwen is both a victim and alleged perpetrator of LRA war crimes. Should he face an international court?

In northern Uganda, Esther Acan's husband and five year old child were hacked to death by LRA rebels and she was forced to kill her infant. She wants justice-at least punishment for the one who commanded the rebels. But the rest of the village who suffered similar atrocities say revenge will not solve their problems. It is better, they say, to forgive the perpetrators and let them come in from the bush in order to gain peace.

But Esther still wants justice, and she has high level support. The International Criminal Court has issued a warrant for Dominic Ongwen, the commander of the rebels who killed her husband and baby. He is to be tried for crimes against humanity. But he was also a victim of a crime, himself abducted by the LRA at the age of 10 and forced to fight for them.

Traditional justice has always allowed murderers to return to the community having compensated, shown remorse and appeased the spirits. Ugandan law accepted this concept through the Amnesty Act, and many LRA rebels are now back in the community having paid no price for the 20 years of killings, abductions and mass displacement of the population. But Ongwen will have to go to The Hague, so he is not coming out of the wilderness.

It leaves a dilemma for justice, but also for Esther. Despite wanting to testify and bring the perpetrators to account, she is scared. The war is not over. Ongwen and the others are still at large. She fears terrible retribution if she is seen with the ICC.

DVD (Color, Closed Captioned) / 2008 / (Grades 7-12, College, Adult) / 25 minutes

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The Hadza are among Africa's last hunter-gatherers. Should they follow charismatic Baallow into the modern world?

Series Editor: Steve Bradshaw
Series Consultant: Jenny Richards

The Hadza are one of the very last tribes of hunter-gatherers on earth and their lifestyle may soon be over because of the pressures of globalization. Traditionally, they hunt game with bows and poisoned arrows and gather fruits and wild honey in the strikingly beautiful area around Lake Eyasi in Tanzania. Recently they have been increasingly threatened by neighbouring tribes, scarcity of wild game, and polluted water. What's more, tourism has given the Hadza access to easy money, and to illegal local moonshine, which can be lethal.

For 70 years the Tanzanian government has tried to force the Hadza to integrate into mainstream society. Now tribesmen are being arrested and jailed for poaching on land coveted by rich hunting businesses. And last year they came closer to being evicted from their homeland altogether. It was almost sold to the Abu Dhabi royal family as a hunting estate. The Hadza are quickly realising that their former philosophy of non-confrontation will not protect them any longer, and that they must fight back to protect their development. The Hadza have no traditional sense of hierarchy, and no leaders. But now they believe they must find a voice to make themselves heard.

Meet Baalow, a young Hadza hunter who is championing the Hadza cause. Baalow was one of a number of Hadza men who were arrested by the Tanzanian government over the Arab hunting deal. Like other young Hadza, Baalow is torn between two competing worlds. But few Hadza are as strong as Baalow, and most are finding it hard to resist the lure of money, alcohol, illicit sex-the attractions of modern Tanzania.

Life follow Baalow as he expertly negotiates the wild: tracking, hunting, killing and eating his wild prey, and as he dips in and out of the modern world of bars, markets, labor with tourists/tour operators, and encounters with other tribes. How will he unite fiercely independent people to a common cause when each has an opinion on how to best lead their lives?

DVD (Color, Closed Captioned) / 2008 / (Grades 7-12, College, Adult) / 25 minutes

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Directed by Emily Marlow

Should General Butt Naked (nee Joshua Blahyi)-now a Christian pastor-be forgiven for his role in Liberia's horrific civil war?

Across the world it's increasingly recognized that civil conflict is as big a barrier to development as illiteracy or illness. Once war-torn countries can struggle for decades with its legacy. Liberia is still struggling to establish law and order, establish security for its people and find roles for ex-combatants. But can countries like Liberia-until recently ravaged by fighting of unspeakable savagery-forgive and forget in the absence of a proper legal process to try those responsible for war crimes?

One man who believes that only God has the answer to this dilemma is evangelical pastor Joshua Milton Blahyi. He recently travelled to Kenya to help a peace and reconciliation process after the bloodshed which followed its disputed election. And Mr Blahyi should know. He was once known as General Butt Naked, a warlord who admits to some of troubled West Africa's most horrific war crimes.

The general submitted himself to Liberia's own Truth and Reconciliation process at the end of 2007. In his testimony to the TRC, he admits to responsibility for 20,000 murders and cannibalism. He says it's up to the discretion of the TRC to decide his fate (it's due to report later this year), but that God's already given him a second chance-he's changed his ways, and can now help guide other former ex-combatants to rebuild Liberia.

So can-and should-the general and other perpetrators of atrocities really be forgiven for cannibalism and child murder? Many, after all, are still celebrated as heroes and role models by large numbers of Liberians. And in a country where evangelical Christianity underpins a culture of impunity for those responsible for 14 years of vicious civil war, most people advocate (or are encouraged to advocate) forgiveness.

But if the general and others like him are forgiven, what can be the sanction for future warlords? If the so-called war criminals are punished and held to account, how far will Liberia need to go-when almost everyone was involved in the factions in one way or another? What's the best forward-do you name and shame, and potentially destroy the fabric of Liberian society, or forgive and forget, and allow the perpetrators to go on living in the community-unpunished and unchecked, and potentially ready for renewed fighting.

DVD (Color, Closed Captioned) / 2008 / (Grades 7-12, College, Adult) / 25 minutes

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Directed by Amanda Felton

The Central African Republic struggles to avoid economic and social chaos.

The Central African Republic is Africa's forgotten country. A landlocked former French colony of just under four million people, the country is struggling to avoid economic and social chaos. The Central African Republic is one of the least developed countries: few people there live beyond 40, 13 percent of children die in infancy and only a third of the population has access to safe drinking water. There is just one hospital bed for every one thousand people and one nurse to every 8,000 people.

Many of the CAR's problems could be solved by money. But appeals for aid have fallen largely on deaf ears. Only a handful of aid agencies continue to work there, and the amount of aid it gets is pitiful compared to other sub- Saharan countries. In 2003, it received just $12.9 USD per person. Life interviewed the President, Francois Bozize, who confirms that health is the country's top priority. Bozize has pledged to restore the country's national unity and security, but foreign governments have been slow to respond to his repeated requests for assistance and support.

DVD (Color) / 2005 / (Grades 7-12, College, Adult) / 26 minutes

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A hard-hitting look at one of the many heinous crimes that came before South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

BETWEEN JOYCE AND REMEMBRANCE is a hard-hitting documentary about truth and reconciliation in South Africa, focusing on the family of the tortured, poisoned and murdered student activist, Siphiwo Mtimkulu.

Producer Mark Kaplan spent seven years documenting the lives of Joyce and Sikhumbuzo Mtimkulu, mother and son of the murdered young man, culminating in a meeting of the family with Siphiwo's killer, Gideon Nieuwoudt, a former colonel in the apartheid government's hated security police.

Kaplan reveals the fragility of South Africa's transition to democracy by exploring the feelings of the Mtimkulu family. The film picks up where the hearings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission left off. It offers a deeper understanding of the difficulty of reconciling with torturers, knowing they will receive no punishment. A burial of the only physical remains of Siphiwo-a handful of his hair-is a pitiful closure. For Siphiwo's son, Sikhumbuzo, this may not be enough.

We begin to understand the magnitude of the sacrifice being attempted by this generation: to set aside the personal healing that might come from justice served now, in order to accelerate a transformation to a just society, free of recrimination, for the next generation.

~ Audience Award, Encounters, The South African International Documentary Film Festival

DVD (Color) / 2004 / (Grades 10-12, College, Adult) / 68 minutes

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A burgeoning grassroots peace movement in Burundi is aimed at ending civil war between Tutsis and Hutus.

Philippe Mvuyekure has spent the last five years living in a refugee camp in Tanzania. Now, he's on his way home. He's among thousands of refugees convinced that the bitter, 10-year civil war that decimated his homeland of Burundi may be coming to an end. The civil war here between Hutu rebels and the Tutsi-dominated army uprooted over a million people and killed more than 300,000. But the benefits of a peace process are finally beginning to emerge. Using traditional mediation systems and peacemakers, Burundi is introducing innovative peace and reconciliation projects. The aim is to start a grass roots movement to bring a lasting peace to Burundi and its long-suffering citizens. This program examines the future for Burundi, for power sharing and for a rapprochement between warring factions.

DVD (Color) / 2004 / (Grades 7-12, College, Adult) / 24 minutes

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Questions the relevance and success of the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg.

Alexandra is a poor suburb of Johannesburg, but it's within sight of the prestigious Sandton Convention Centre. The venue was the home for what was billed as the most important international conference of this century: the World Summit on Sustainable Development, which opened on 26 August 2002.

In THE ROAD FROM RIO, life in Johannesburg is seen through the eyes of Nankie, a DJ on the community radio station Alex FM. She's excited by the prospect of delegations from around the world flying in to her hometown to debate the world's environmental problems and new ways to create a global society without the class divisions that have continued to widen, leaving the power and wealth in the hands of a covetous few.

The "Jo'burg Summit" took place 10 years after the Rio Earth Summit, and a full 30 years after the first international conference on the human environment, which convened in Stockholm in 1972. But as world leaders prepared for the meeting, hard questions were being raised. What could the conference really hope to achieve? And why-when governments have failed to deliver on so many of the promises they made at Rio-should the world believe they'd be any more sincere this time around?
With the support of the European Commission Directorate General for Development to promote better understanding of development issues; the Directorate General for the Environment; and the Royal Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

DVD (Color) / 2002 / (Grades 7-12, College, Adult) / 27 minutes

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