This documentary is my senior honors thesis for International Relations at Tufts University and is about primary school education in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. I filmed this documentary over the course of four months, during which I shot about 180 hours of footage.
I filmed at three very different schools in Dar es Salaam - an under-resourced public school on the outskirts of the city, an English-medium private Catholic school, and a relatively well-resourced urban public school. I picked these schools because they had very different environments, resources, and opportunities. Comparing and contrasting these schools gives the audience a good idea of the overall educational system in Dar es Salaam and highlights issues such as class size and availability of books and other resources.
I have gone through many different versions and styles while editing this film. I originally envisioned the film having more direct analysis of certain issues pertaining to education in Tanzania, but that style did not work well in a short film because it was too complicated and overwhelming for the audience in such a short period of time. So in this version of my film I decided not to include the nineteen interviews I conducted with students, teachers, parents, and administrators, but instead to focus on creating a sense of space for the audience, examining one school at a time. This way, the audience is able to experience a day in the life of these schools, identify with the students and teachers, and understand what their lives are like intellectually and emotionally.
This project has been made possible through the support of Jeanne Penvenne and Howard Woolf, the Tufts Undergraduate Research Fund, the Summer Scholars Program, the Schwartz-Paddock Scholarship in the Visual and Performing Arts, and the International Relations Research Scholarship.