13-03-2020 by Freddie del Curatolo
African girls who, with the strength of a dream and with the help of those who have read in their eyes, in their desire, virgin and still naive but true and disruptive, to live and emancipate themselves, have become examples for thousands of other peers in Kenya, Congo, Tanzania and Ivory Coast.
In the wake of the results obtained by Nice Nailantei Leng'ete, the young maasai activist who for years has been conducting an awareness campaign against female genital mutilation and who has been named by Time magazine among the hundred most important female figures on the planet, a group of Italian writers and filmmakers expert in Africa, gathered under the acronym "Hic Sunt Leones", have shot and produced an intense, dramatic but full of hope docufilm that will be presented in the coming weeks (Coronavirus permitting) in Milan. It is entitled "African dreamers" and tells the true stories of the very young Kenyan Grace and Wangare. The first one fled from the village of Maasai just to avoid cutting her clitoris and vaginal lips and to be given in marriage to a man who could be her father, she found who pays for her studies in Nairobi and dreams of becoming the first woman president of Kenya, the other one, orphaned, ended up living on the streets in the slums of Nairobi, between desperation glue to sniff and the nightmare of sexual violence, .
Then there is the Congolese Merveille, who lives in one of the poorest, tormented and forgotten places in the world and at the age of eight is accused by her village of being a witch. She escapes stoning and torture and thanks to a fantastic Italian nun she is returning to life (and dreams, in fact), there is the Tanzanian Deborah who works as a slave in Bagamoyo, just in the ancient destination on the shores of the Indian Ocean from which centuries ago thousands of Africans "left their hearts". She is a modern and silent slave, in 2020 she is serving in a wealthy Tanzanian family that has never given her a day off, not even to say goodbye to her distant father on his deathbed. But she has asked to be able to go to school, scaling the cost of education from her salary because she is convinced that one day her diploma will give her freedom and she will be able to teach other girls like her that education is everything.
Finally there is Mariam, a baby prostitute in a tourist resort in the Ivory Coast, whose contagious will to live and the help of some of her compatriots have taken her away from brothels and drugs and laid the foundations for her dream: to become a designer of traditional African clothes. Five girls for as many stories of Africa that, as this continent teaches, are not necessarily happy endings, but they testify how little would be enough and a solidarity that has time to dive into the realities of the new generations apparently with no way out, to transform the energy of pure dreams into salvation, into the reality of a better life, human and worthy of being shown for example, to those who abandon themselves too soon to a desperate desolation. Roberto Cavalieri, Francesco Cavalli, Davide Demichelis, Angelo Ferrari, Raffaele Masto, Alessandro Rocca and Luciano Scalettari, with the help of associations that have always been in the field, such as Amani, Amref, Terre des hommes and others, have told and filmed it with passion but in a dry way and without standing on easy pietism or imposing a moral.
Here you can get more information about the film and see the trailer https://www.africandreamers.it/en/
The filming of the documentary film "Italian in Kenya" has ended. It's a short feature commissioned by the Italian Foreign Ministry, through the Italian Institute of Culture in Nairobi, as part of the week of Italian language in the world.
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