The movie tells the inspiring story of the Green Belt Movement of Kenya and its unstoppable founder, Wangari Maathai, who in 2004 became the first environmentalist and the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize.
Maathai discovered the core of her life’s work when she turned her attention to the rural women with whom she had grown up in Kenya’s central highlands. Their daily lives had become intolerable. They were walking exhaustive distances for firewood; clean water was scarce; the soil was eroding; and their children were suffering from malnutrition. One hundred years of colonialism and neocolonialism had destroyed the forests they had lived in for centuries.
“Why not plant trees?” Maathai thought. Trees provide shade, prevent soil erosion, and supply firewood and nutritious fruit. In 1977, Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement in Kenya and began teaching women about the connection between environmental problems and their daily problems.
Through first person accounts and TV news footage, Taking Root documents the Green Belt’s dramatic political confrontations of the 1980’s and ’90s—a time when Maathai and other Kenyan women endured violent suppression and risked personal injury as they discovered their political voice.
Co-Director, Lisa Merton, will join via Skype to discuss the film and the issues it raises.
Sno-King Meaningful Movies, launched in 2015, is one of 19 Meaningful Movies venues in the Seattle area. Its films are typically shown on the second Saturday of alternate months beginning in January. Meaningful Movies are neighborhood film and discussion events organized around shared principles with a focus on social justice issues and advocacy. Sno-King Meaningful Movies is sponsored by the Peace and Justice Committee of Edmonds UU Congregation, Snohomish County Peace Action, and the Social Action Ministry of Shoreline UU Church.
For more information go to www.meaningfulmovies.org