I really enjoyed your film. Your story was nothing short of inspirational. The fact that you went to such great lengths to get to know your Tanzanian background is incredible, and I have a tremendous amount of respect for you and your family.
Your father’s journey from childhood to meeting your mother was fascinating to me. Growing up in an actual tribe, with so few opportunities to succeed beyond their routine farm life, he really did beat the odds. That was so inspiring to watch.
I was also very endeared by your parents sacrifice for each other. Your mother definitely pushed down some pretty rigid walls, and your father had to make quite a U-turn in his life path, all by meeting each other.
I myself was raised by my biological mother and her ex-partner, so growing up in a loving but unconventional home is something I’m pretty used to. My mother has been an ESL teacher my whole life, and watching your father’s story and connection to his tribe evolve made me wonder if any of my mother’s students have similar stories.
Probably my favorite part of the whole movie was watching the women around the village just pour their hearts out to you. I can’t imagine the burden those stories must have been for them. After all they went through in their lives, all the pain and abuse they suffered, they chose you to open up to. And their stories probably had a profound effect on me, just listening, as it did on them to tell them. You’re a pretty special lady, Eli.
I mentioned this in the post-movie reflection thing, but I have a donor father who I can’t have any contact with until I’m 18. Watching you connect with this foreign side of your family sort of made me wonder what it’ll be like to meet him. The surprises you encountered while getting to know your tribe were really interesting, and I was thinking I may someday have a similar experience meeting/contacting my father for the first time.
I was also so impressed by the fact that this was your first film. Having never picked up a camera before, the end result was pretty remarkable. Usually first attempts look like, well, first attempts, but to me your documentary looked like the work of a true pro. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.
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