In the film Flora Maybug-Schilling, the filmmaker sets a goal of making sure the audience gains complete knowledge and visualization on the lives of women in Tanzania. The purpose of the film was to allow the audience to “finally’ hear the voices of Tanzania women and witness the vivid work they have to do in their everyday lives. The filmmaker immediately grabs the audience’s attention by starting off the film with the translated interviews. The filmmaker wanted to portray the material poverty of the Tanzania women lives. For instance, Mama Costa interview was first to appear on the film.
The interview took place at her house while she was in the mist of making food for her children and herself. Mama Costa explains her role as a woman which includes earning money to support her family. She farmed and would plant rice and maize in her field while her children would collect casements to fry. They would sell the rice, maize and nuts in order to buy commodities that were beneficial to them (sugar and soap). After Mama Costar’s interview, the narration about the Tanzania culture begins throughout the film along with the different scenes being shown.
Women brewing beer, preparing vegetables, and making pots to sell was some of the scenes being shown. This not only introduced to the audience how the Tanzania women make money, it helped them visualize how intense the work was. Mama Maria gained a skill of making pots and passed it down to her children hoping one day they will do the same. She makes these pots right outside her home with the accommodation of clay, wood and grass. When selling the pots, Mama Maria came to find out that her profit is very low. The pots were not expensive so she could not make enough money to feed her household.
Sometimes she would exchange her pots for clay in order to create more pots to sell. The film emphasizes the diversity of work that will help keep the families alive within the East African culture. It shows shots of women making houses and it contrasts the rural and urban lifestyles. In the urban lifestyles, they do not farm or sell goods to make money. Women who are living the urban lifestyles work in offices (they are typewriters), own their own business, or sew. Women who live in the urban lifestyles dressed differently than those who lived in the rural lifestyles.
Women in the rural area wore implies dresses whereas women in the urban area wore blue Jeans or dresses that were tailored. The film continues to compare and contrast relationships amongst different groups in Tanzania to help the viewer understand the lifestyle of the women in the film. In the middle of the film, the filmmaker begins to cover the relationship between men and women and women and women. Mama Celtic was smart enough to eliminate anything she believed was useless to her life. Throughout her interview, it was becoming clearer to the audience that the husbands of Tanzania women were not benefiting their life.
Mama Calcite’s interview took place outside her house. She held her children displeased as she spoke upon the divorce she wanted with her husband. She mentioned how her husband did not contribute anything positive to her life. She felt as if he was making her poorer by having him as an extra mouth to feed. Mama Celtic said her husband only knew how to marry he did not know how to provide for his family. She had to do everything by herself which included farming and selling goods. Along with other women in Tanzania she learned how to support her family without her husband.
Women learned how to work and act electively to make money. A club was formed amongst a group of women that contained approximately eight group members. The club allowed each woman a turn to brew and sell beer to earn money. This was a great idea because it helped women make enough money to feed their family. Women in Tanzania are always there for one another. They uplifted each other when one was entering poverty, lacking food, and more. Women shared whatever they had with their neighbor and cared for one another’s family. The filmmaker interviewed the women in the club about their thoughts on having a husband.
They all agreed that having a husband was meaningless. All of the women in the club agreed that their husband was useless because he does not put in any effort into supporting his wife and family. He does not give her food or money, which causes her to work really hard for these necessities. One girl who was nineteen concluded that her husband “does nothing at all but have sex with me. ” The central theme of the film was to bring attention to the lack of effort of men providing for their family through the lens and perspective of women.
Individual interviews, scenes that showed the hard work Tanzania women ad to do, and being able to witness the struggle it was for them to earn money made the central theme clear. The individual interviews gave me an insight of who these women were. Tanzania women are hardworking women who want to happily raise their kids. They want support from their husbands so they are able to provide properly for their family. Throughout the film, the action of Tanzania women was explained with the help of narration and subtitles.
For instance, in the beginning of the film Mama Costa was in the process of making food as she explained her roles in purporting her family. Subtitles were provided because she was speaking another language. The narrations begin after she explained her role as a woman. The narration was based on the different roles women had to do such as farming and selling goods. Some moments in the film it was clear to me where the women were located. For instance, individual interviews were taken outside of the women house where as the location of the group interviews were unclear.
In addition, when scenes of women making pots and food were shot it was unclear who house they were located at. On the other hand, the setting and film related to each other because it emphasized the type of lifestyle the Tanzania women were living in. They had dirt roads and houses that were made out of mud. It helped the audience visualize how poor these women were. It allowed the audience to witness the lack of modernization in their society. “Men are more powerful than women. ” The quote above was a stereotype that long lived every nation. After watching the film, the quote above meant nothing to me.
Tanzania women are strong and more powerful than the men in their society. They basically took on every role the men were supposed to do for their family. Tanzania women were able to cook, farm, build, and make materials needed for their household. The film made me think about the readings we have done in class because the men in the reading were similarly described in the film. For instance, in the Been culture men didn’t really provide for their wives and they were allowed to have more than one spouse. The Tanzania women and Been women actions were similar. They both supported and shared items with other women included in their culture.
They did this because their husband lacked the effort to do so. The interviews and different shots portrayed in the film fulfilled the purpose of the film. It allowed the audience to witness and hear from the women of Tanzania about their struggle through life. They heard from the voices of the Tanzania women about their useless husbands and how without their husband they have to work harder to support their family. One was able to tell these women were not actors making it easy for the filmmaker to grasp the audience’s full understanding and knowledge on the purpose of the film.