The Vision of Wangari Maathai – movie review

April 11, 2011  By: Africa Adventure Consultants

This movie review was generously shared with us by the Sierra Club’s Green Life Blog.

Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai (2008)

Limited screenings and available on DVD

Wangari Maathai has worked since the 1970s to promote democracy and women’s rights in a culture that’s traditionally repressed both. Her success is all the more remarkable when you consider that the groundswell of change and empowerment she inspired came about through such a seemingly simple act: planting trees.

Born in British-ruled Kenya, Maathai came to the U.S. as part of the Kennedy Airlift, the same program that brought Barack Obama’s father here for higher education. Some alchemy of new confidence and a perspective that offered possibilities beyond those she saw in her home country brought her back to Africa, where she began a tireless, often perilous, campaign to realize her dream of a greener and more just world.

Via interviews and historic footage, this film traces Maathai’s path from her first activist ventures to the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize ceremonies, where she became the first African woman, and the first environmentalist, to be honored. Facing formidable opposition from government and societal institutions (she was repeatedly assaulted and jailed by government sympathizers, especially during the rule of Daniel arap Moi), she slowly built a coalition of mothers, wives, and sisters who came together to plant trees. In finding a livelihood and sense of purpose, the women of the Green Belt Movement were empowered to stand up to the forces that held them down.

Since its founding in 1977, the Green Belt Movement has planted more than 40 million trees and helped thousands of women earn a living while preserving their natural and cultural heritage. Maathai’s work stands as proof that justice and environmental health are inseparable parts of global well-being — and that one (indomitable) person can change the world.

Review by Zoë J. Sheldon

Reprinted with permission from Sierra Club

20 Years of Experience & Passion

Our passion for Africa began with a dream of living on the continent – a dream realized. We explored parks, rivers, mountains and villages, learned about the flora and fauna, fell in love with everything, and came away wanting to share our passion for a remarkable continent. Africa Adventure Consultants was born of the desire to give more people the chance to experience Africa’s wonders. Let us guide you into the wilderness.

Contact a Journey Specialist

Pick a Destination

Africa is enormous. There are endless things to see and do, and it can’t all be done in one trip. That said, we realize that many people believe that a trip to Africa is ‘once in a lifetime’ (though many more end up realizing once is not enough!). What do you most want to see? What experiences have you been dreaming of? Visit our destination pages to narrow your choices down, browse our safari types to get a sense of the activities and styles available, or talk with a Journey Specialist to hone in on the areas that will deliver the journey of your imagination.

Contact a Journey Specialist

Trip Ideas

We know it can be hard to narrow down what to do on vacation, especially with the wealth of choices that are available on the African continent. That’s why we have created an array of sample itineraries to inspire your travel. Browse through them – you’ll find everything from family safaris to honeymoons to Kilimanjaro climbs – and find the places and activities that excite you. From there, you can contact a Journey Specialist to start the process of crafting a customized safari just for you!

Contact a Journey Specialist

Get Started

You’re ready – it’s time to plan your safari! Contact one of our expert Journey Specialists and we will collaborate with you to craft your personalized trip.

Contact a Journey Specialist