The Teacher’s Country: An Authentic Film That Showcases Tanzania and its People

By Monica Obaga,

Teacher’s Country weaves a mosaic of life from the present day aiming to create a complete portrait of how life has changed since Tanzania’s independence 50 years prior.

Madaraka, the son of the Teacher, the first President of Tanzania, Mwalimu (Teacher) Julius Nyerere commemorates his October 1959 speech by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

An excerpt from the speech (from Madaraka’s blog):

“We the people of Tanganyika, would like to light a candle and put it on top of Mount Kilimanjaro which would shine beyond our borders giving hope where there was despair, love where there was hate, and dignity where there was before only humiliation.”

A promise that was kept and a symbol of commitment to the continuing liberation struggle on the continent at the time.

A cook, a teacher and a priest round out the varying shades of progress the country has made, piecing stories together without spoon-feeding conclusions to the audience. Each person presents their life and the hopes and thoughts about Tanzania then to now with their own perspective.

The film shares a diverse Tanzanian landscape. The visual language is almost a love story not only to the people but the land itself. From equatorial forest, to low lying coast and high altitude mountain areas, the clear, steady paced cinematography lingers, reveling in the beauty of the backdrops.

The film breathes well; avoiding the trappings of propaganda, marketing or the heavy hand of external perspective.

Teacher’s Country is an authentic omnibus film full of love for the country and its people.

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