An American woman doctor comes to Tanzania to work at a hospital for the mentally disturbed, with her Tanzanian lover. There, she meets a sometimes catatonic patient, Samahe, who seems to ...
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An American woman doctor comes to Tanzania to work at a hospital for the mentally disturbed, with her Tanzanian lover. There, she meets a sometimes catatonic patient, Samahe, who seems to be in communication with another reality. In their confrontation with their individual and collective pasts, Dr Asira and Samehe are bound by fears and half remembered images of unbearable pain. Only through the spirit of Maangamizi, can the women resume their lives with an understanding of the ancestors and their eternal presence in a world of cruelty, hatred and death. It is a story that seeks to reclaim the connection between Africa and her Diaspora, and one that dares to represent the histories of two continents as it peels away layers upon layers of pain to bring healing of the soul. Written by
Lead Actress, Amandina Lihamba sprained her ankle while hiking up Mt. Kilimanjaro to shoot a scene for the film. Despite her injury she continued up the mountain and finished all her scenes. See more »
Maangamizi is a colorful but cliche-ridden attempt at that most difficult of genres, allegory. The film tells the story of Samehe ( Swahili for `forgiveness') an African women who is a patient in a mental institution. She comes under the care of an African-American psychiatrist named Asira (Swahili for `anger'). Both women are enlightened and ultimately united by the mentoring spirit of Maangamizi (Swahili for `destruction'). Allegory is a particularly difficult construct in any artistic medium because it almost always requires the sacrifice of psychological verisimilitude in order to represent fully its abstractions. In film, the lack of depth and complexity in the portrayal of allegorical characters can often be overridden by the skillful use of visual techniques ( i.e. Kurosawa's Dreams ). Maangamizi, however, seems to be a film put together by a committee; although filled with stunning images, the work lacks a unifying vision, veering from the mystical to the didactic and back again without synthesis. There are significant gaps in exposition and plot as the writing moves from predictable to hackneyed to cliché. There are puzzling inconsistencies in the quality of the cinematography, and all too frequently the filmmaker resorts to a trite flashback tease to create the tension that a more skilled director would develop with imaginative camera work and solid written material. Maangamizi may have audience appeal because of its cultural and feminist concerns, but suffers from a fundamental lack of creativity and artistic control.
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