(email from mom…)
Last night, Moshi folks turned up in droves to see your movie, surprising everyone, even to those who organized the event. There was a gang of 20 that turned up from our neighbor village of Marangu. They rented a car to come. Obviously the word had gotten around.
I was asked to kick the event off without introduction by anyone. So when I confessed to the audience that the only reason I was standing in front them is because I am the filmmaker’s mother, I got a chuckle and an ovation from the audience.
I sat in the back and from behind, I could see that the people were breathing with the film. Those in the back chose to stand so they could see the subtitles and watched the film to the end on their feet.
There was a technical hitch toward the end. I was playing a DVD that was brand new…but it was damaged, perhaps due to careless handling. It stopped close to the end — after auntie Awonyisa’s story. So they didn’t miss much. Still, that was quite regretful.
As in the U.S., some folks told me that they cried while watching the movie. People were so eager to come and exchange few words and connect afterwards.
A medical doctor from the Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, wants to connect with you. She would like to get a copy of the DVD and also send you one she made on women with HIV in Tanzania. She was delighted to hear that you accept invitations to college campuses and give talks after showing the film.
Moshi Club volunteered to sell your DVD on our behalf. They want to contact folks in Arusha so that we can show it there. Let’s see where this enthusiasm will lead!
Admissions fee was 3,000 shillings per person. They collected 318,000 shillings (~$205 USD) for the Girls’ Dormitory Project. That, I will hand over to Vunjo School when I see Reverand Mlay next.
When I was up front, I told the audience that you were eager to see/hear how the viewing was going, so I got their permission to take a photo facing them straight. Folks were really good-hearted about it. Some even waved at the camera.
I think your film is teaching people a lot — how coming out in the open can bring peace, but also be the source of strength. You don’t just heal. You become stronger.