DER Documentary

The Mseyas

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by Gustavo Vizoso
color, 27 & 52 min, 2007

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The Mseyas are Alberina, Maria, Amos and Orselina. A family of four siblings in Tanzania, they have been Orphaned by AIDS, like so many other young people in Africa. Their lives are a daily struggle to survive without parental or state support. Earning a small income by collecting firewood, the Mseyas contend with illness, debt and constant worry. However, they maintain a certain youthful optimism about the future.

"Such a hard life," says Alberina, "has taught us how to live." She and Maria - the two slightly older sisters - work and cook to make sure that their younger brother and sister can attend school, saying, "children have a right to an education," though not very old herself.

An intense commitment to one another and a level of religious faith give the Mseyas siblings a desire to keep going forward. Spanish director Gustavo Vizoso was moved to document their situation, capturing the light and color of Tanzania in beautifully observed photography, in order to speak out on behalf of the 12 million AIDS orphans living in Africa today.

Film Festivals
Extremadura Documentary Film Festival, Portugal, 2007
L'Alternativa Independent Film Festival, Barcelona, 2007
Documenta Madrid film festival, Spain, 2008
Crossroads of Europe International Film Festival, Lulin, Ploand, 2008
DOCSDF - International Documentary Film Festival, Mexico, 2008
Document 6 International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival, Glasgow, Scotland, 2008
1001 Documentary Film Festival, Istambul, Turkey, 2008
5th Aljazeera International Documentary Film Festival, Qatar, 2009

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