Directed by Lisa Merton & Alan Dater

Film Synopsis

Taking Root tells the dramatic story of Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Wangari Maathai, whose simple act of planting trees grew into a nationwide movement to safeguard the environment, protect human rights, and defend democracy—a movement for which this charismatic woman became an iconic inspiration.

Active Cinema Participation

At MVFF 2008:

  • The film had two sold-out screenings.
  • The screenings were presented in association with Friends of the Urban Forest.
  • The film took part in the Festival’s Education program, with a screening for school groups.
  • MVFF and Friends of the Urban Forest organized a tree-planting ceremony to honor both Wangari Maathai and Chico Mendes, the subject of the MVFF 2008 film Children of the Amazon.

Active Cinema Impact

After being part of Active Cinema:

  • In order to get it into as many hands around the world as possible, the film has been translated and dubbed into 12 languages (Spanish, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, Arabic, French, Swahili, Hindi, Bangla, Vietnamese, Chinese, Russian, and Indonesian) in order to reach people at the grassroots level who often do not read. All 12 versions (not including the English version) will be available for free on Vimeo in the fall of 2015.
  • The filmmakers were able to make connections with other activist filmmakers/communities that participated at MVFF, including Friends of the Urban Forest, Amazon Action Team, Rainforest Action Network, Campaign for Female Education, and beyond.

From the Filmmakers

Being part of Active Cinema “helped us to think differently about organizations that were working actively with the issues in our film. We became more focused in our outreach and realized how critical it is to have like-minded institutions involved in using the film, disseminating the film, and adding to/broadening the material in the film through their knowledge.”

How to See the Film

For home viewing, the film can be purchased at: http://takingrootfilm.com/purchase.htm

For educational distribution, it is available through New Day Films at: https://www.newday.com/film/taking-root-vision-wangari-maathai

How to Stay Active