Monday, March 28, 2011
A New Documentary
Teaching English to adults here in Brooklyn, I work with mostly Spanish speaking immigrants. Then I go home and call the SHONA women in Goma. The transition from Spanish to Swahili, can be a bit confusing sometimes. In the past year, I think Argentine and Mapendo have heard me increasingly throwing in words like "bueno", in the midst of a sentence in Swahili. It never seems to throw them though. Congo, if nothing else, is a country quite comfortable with mixing languages, even unfamiliar ones.
But mostly I find the connection between my students here and the women in Congo surprisingly close. They're all trying to find a way to build a better life. For themselves and for their families. I suppose that is what we are all doing. They've left their homes, their comfort zones, and each step forward also poses a new question.
Which is why I am looking forward to watching the new documentary on PBS tomorrow night.
It is called "Pushing the Elephant" and it follows the story of a Congolese refugee, a woman who fled to the US with 9 of her 10 children. It follows her story years later, caught between here and there. Moreover it follows her story as she is reunited with the daughter who was left behind.
It seems to me that all of our lives are part of this struggle. This struggle to merge the past with the future and come out with a world that we can live in.
Pushing the Elephant was made by a program called Women Making Movies. I haven't seen it yet myself, and from the trailer I can see that there are difficult political and ethnic questions bubbling under the surface. But it poses an interesting question and I will definitely be tuning in.
Check it out Tuesday night, March 29th, on Independent Lens on PBS.