What a wonderful, sad, heartwarming, tragic, moving, film. Solar Mamas, part of the BBC’s Why Poverty? series of eight one-hour documentaries, took a subject that probably had most of the viewing public reaching for the Off button – training a group of women from developing countries to learn to assemble solar panels – and produced a zinger.
The film was hijacked by one of the 28 women: Rafea, a mother-of-four from Jordan who takes on her husband, relatives and community by travelling to India’s Barefoot College for six months.
It’s a vivid illustration of the real human meaning of phrases trotted out glibly in development circles, such as gender relations, and why culture and tradition block change and crush women. No jargon, no didacticism, no preaching.
And what an illustration of the world-shaking amount of energy and talent that is waiting to be unleashed by a fairer world in which women, the poor, the disadvantaged, the oppressed have an equal chance.
The remaining two films in the Why Poverty? series:
The Great Land Rush
Farmers struggle against businessmen in a contemporary battle over who controls land. Tuesday 4 December, 10pm, BBC Four.
China's Ant People
Getting an education and a life in contemporary China. Wednesday 5 December, 10.30pm, BBC Four.
blog comments powered by Disqus