1. CHAPTER TWO OF SIX CHAPTERS

    I have just completed a 70-minute documentary film examining the issue of identity against the backdrop of Kenya's colonial period from the 1940s to Independence in 1963. My parents were Jewish refugees from Poland and Rumania who escaped from Europe in 1940 and eventually found themselves in Kenya, where they settled until their deaths some 60 years later. Both my father and my mother accomplished extraordinary work in Africa against hunger, poverty and disease. But more than just documenting this work, my film raises issues about being a refugee, being displaced, losing your mother country, bringing your belief system to your host country, adapting, assimilating or not assimilating - all the issues that all displaced persons must confront. It is also an examination of my own identity as a white girl born in Africa; an Eastern European in a British colony; and a non-Jewish Jew.

    This clip is CHAPTER TWO of six chapters in the film. It shows my parents' involvement in the turbulent political climate in Kenya during the 1950s, as the Mau Mau rebellion rose to a head, causing many whites to flee. It examines the close connections between Kenya's political leaders, such as Tom Mboya, who was a close family friend (later assassinated), John F. Kennedy and and the American Civil Rights Movement, and questions our family's and my own personal identity as Kenya rolled towards Independence.

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  2. A 70-mn documentary film exploring my identity as the daughter of Jewish refugees who escaped the Holocaust in 1940 to settle in Kenya. The film is structured in 5 "chapters". What you see here are edited clips from chapters 1, 3 and 4, as detailed in the treatment, separated by my voice over black screen, introducing each chapter.

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  3. WALKING WITH LIFE
    The Birth of a Human Rights Movement in Africa
    Tostan – A Universal Model for Human Rights Education

    A Film by Kenny Mann

    Narration: Issa Saka
    Camera: Kenny Mann, Adams Sie

    MiniDV; DVD - NTSC 39mns. Color. English narration with subtitles

    You must walk with life or you get left behind.
    Senegalese proverb

    This is the story of the extraordinary social transformation triggered by human rights education in Senegal.

    After receiving free human rights education from the NGO known as Tostan, people in Senegal come to their own understanding of human rights and democracy, triggering a re-evaluation of their belief systems and ancient practices. Learning about their human right to good health leads a group of women to question the tradition of female genital cutting (FGC), always thought to be an Islamic law. The news from their Imam that FGC is not a requirement of the Koran ignites a national movement to abandon the ancient custom, joyfully celebrated in public declarations across the country. Program participants are not only human rights learners but become human rights educators, performing comic sketches on the use of condoms in family planning and the dangers of FGC as teaching tools for others. In the Koranic schools, boys who are traditionally expected to beg for food now receive their meals from neighborhood “mothers”, thus allowing them more time for education and job training. Entire communities eagerly tackle issues such as health and hygiene, environmental concerns and girls’ education as Tostan’s method of “organized diffusion” spreads the human rights movement throughout the country and across its borders. Understanding the human right to a life free from discrimination leads to the break-down of cultural barriers between ethnic groups, thus opening up new areas for cooperation, intermarriage and prosperity.

    Punctuated by the songs of a griot (oral historian) who documents this process, the people, villages and towns of Senegal come to life as the film pulses to the dramatic beat of traditional music and dance. Whisked from the placid villages of the Casamance to the harsh desert of the Fouta and the teeming streets of Dakar, viewers become eye-witnesses to the empowerment of people through human rights education.

    Learn more about Kenny Mann’s books and films at http://www.rafikiproductions.com
    Purchase WALKING WITH LIFE at http://www.rafikiproductions.com/films_walking_with_life.html

    http://www.rafikiproductions.com

    PO Box 2789 Sag Harbor NY 11963 646 479-5884 ikimann@earthlink.net

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  4. WALKING WITH LIFE is the umbrella title for three related films, available as a collection on one DVD or as individual films.

    “YOU MUST WALK WITH LIFE OR YOU WILL GET LEFT BEHIND…”
    A Senegalese proverb

    WALKING WITH LIFE –
    The Birth of a Human Rights Movement in Africa – 39mns

    Punctuated by the songs of a griot or oral historian, this film – shot entirely on location in Senegal - pulses to the dramatic beat of traditional theatre, music and dance. These tools are used by Tostan, an award-winning NGO, to help people discover their human rights and the meaning of democracy. Their new learning inspires participants to re-examine ancient customs, such as female genital cutting and forced early marriage. Health and hygiene, community resources, environmental issues and girls’ education are all scrutinized through the lens of human rights.

    As positive social changes sweep the country, the people of Senegal rejoice in triumph. Whisked from the placid villages of the Casamance to the harsh desert of the Fouta and the teeming streets of Dakar, viewers become eye-witnesses to the empowerment of people through human rights education.

    TOSTAN: Building Partnerships Through
    Human Rights Education 32:13mns

    This companion film illuminates Tostan’s profound philosophy after more than thirty years of field experience in several African countries, as illustrated by the program in Senegal and Guinea. Consultation with civic, political and religious leaders and respect for traditional culture are at the root of Tostan’s success as a universal model for human rights education.

    HUMAN RIGHTS CITIES: Paths To Peace – 16:00mns

    Twenty-one cities around the world, including Rosario, Argentina; Graz, Austria; and Korogocho, Kenya, have made a commitment to run all social, political, economic and cultural aspects of city life according to the human rights framework. The film documents the process in Thies, Senegal, and in Washington, D.C.

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  5. TRAILER

    I grew up in Kenya and used to visit the coast on school vacations with my family. My parents always took us to the ruins of ancient cities along the coast, like Gedi, and to Fort Jesus, in Mombasa. A t the time, I found them boring, too hot and fly-infest and wanted only to jump into the delicious Indian Ocean. But now I've become fascinated with the history and on a visit to Kenya, in 2007, right after my mother died, I took myself off to the coast to mourn her, and found myself making this film instead.

    THE SWAHILI BEAT is an upbeat look at the remarkable history of the Swahili people of Kenya and Tanzania’s East African coast. Packed with the music and dance of the Swahili and other indigenous coastal peoples, the film takes viewers from the fabled island of Lamu off the northern coast of Kenya to Zanzibar, Mombasa, Kilwa, Bagamoyo and Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. The film traces the development of the Swahili culture through the intermarriage of Arab settlers, arriving from Oman in the 8th century, with local Africans. The resulting Afro-Arab Islamic hybrid culture cemented economic and social stability and fueled the emergence of the Swahili as prosperous merchant brokers in the Indian Ocean basin and in the growing East African slave trade. This made them a lucrative target for successive waves of settlers, invaders and colonizers, including the Persians, Portuguese, Arabs, Germans and British. THE SWAHILI BEAT examines the impact of these invaders, and asks whether the Swahili, who have successfully absorbed a variety of cultural influences, can maintain their traditional culture in the face of globalization and the Internet.

    Purchase this film from Documentary Educational Resources, at http://der.org/films/swahili-beat.html Distributed by Tubemogul.

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NEW ANGLES ON AFRICA!! HUMAN RIGHTS IN SENEGAL, SWAHILI HISTORY, JEWISH REFUGEES IN KENYA

Kenny Mann

These are films that I have written and produced since 2000. The latest is BEAUTIFUL TREE, SEVERED ROOTS - an examination of personal identity against the background of Kenya's colonial years up to Independence in 1963. Check out the trailers, excerpts…


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These are films that I have written and produced since 2000. The latest is BEAUTIFUL TREE, SEVERED ROOTS - an examination of personal identity against the background of Kenya's colonial years up to Independence in 1963. Check out the trailers, excerpts and other information.

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