BLACK HEAD COW
Showed at 25+ film festivals worldwide
In a remote Maasai village in rural Tanzania, a young primary school girl is suddenly confronted by an arranged marriage.
BLACK HEAD COW is an award-winning short film written & produced by students & staff of
BLACK HEAD COW was written & produced by students of Orkeeswa School in Tanzania. As part of the first generation to go to school in their community, these students used the filmmaking process to explore their own dilemma between culture and education. Now, these student-filmmakers are sharing the film with their community, by hosting screenings within the village for students, elders, traditional leaders, mothers, fathers and children. Each screening is followed by a discussion workshop that begins with two simple questions: How do you think this story could end? How do you think it should end? We are now witnessing deep, complicated conversations – ones that were not happening before.
Watch the filmmakers discuss the process of making BLACK HEAD COW and what it is like sharing the film with their community.
"The film brought a lot of drastic changes to the community. Many people have stopped forcing their daughters to get married at a young age because of the conversations these students have started in the community, including myself and others who live near me. The conversations don’t stop when the screenings are over, but you may find women and men continuing to talk about the film in other places. So the message is spreading. People even come to me because they see that I have been involved with the film, and ask me questions about it, so it gives me a chance to advice people not to continue this practice. The work that these students have done has raised awareness about cultural practices that need to change."
– Baba Mzee, Orkeeswa Village Leader
"The film has the potential to change the oulook and actions of the community. It is about the people around us. And they are changing. You can see that they haven't thought about these issues in depth before. You can see on their faces that now they are starting to think about the larger implications and wonder "what if this happens to me or someone in my family." We started to open the minds of people around the community and change the thinking process. Now, people can start thinking seriously about this issue and know that it is a problem we need to address."
– Edward, Orkeeswa Graduate
Writer, Producer, Sound Mixer
"Although we believed the film was a way to educate our community, throughout the process we realized it was more than just teaching. We were helping people to think about a solution to a problem that is a part of our lives. We wanted to tell a story about something that is happening in our community, but afterwards, we discovered that we opened up a discussion and now there are many people thinking about this issue and trying to find solutions."
– Kesuma, Orkeeswa Graduate
Writer, Producer, Sound Mixer