5 user 4 critic

Maangamizi: The Ancient One (2001)

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 ... See full summary »
1 win. See more awards »


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?



Credited cast:
Barbarao ...
Dr. Asira (as BarbaraO)
Amandina Lihamba ...
Samahani Kejeri ...
Simba Mbili
Waigwa Wachira ...
Dr. Odhiambo
Mwanajuma Ali Hassan ...
Bibi Maangamizi
Kisaka A. Kisaka ...
Reverend Waigwa
Adam Mwambile ...
Dr. Moshi
Mary Chibwana ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ummie Mahfouda Alley ...
Zainabu Bafadhili ...
Young Samehe
Janet Fabian ...
Sister Francis
Stumai Halili ...
Mgeni ...
Young Asira
Thecla Mjatta ...


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 Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

death | fear | patient | hospital | past | See All (113) »





Official Sites:





Release Date:

18 February 2001 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


(Pan African Film and Arts Festival)

Sound Mix:


See  »

Did You Know?


It was the first film from the United Republic of Tanzania to ever be submitted as entry to the Oscars. See more »


Nurse Malika: Hey, watch where you're going!
Dr. Asira: Where's Samehe, I'm looking for Samehe!
Nurse Malika: She's in the Art room with Dr. Odhiambo!
Nurse Malika: This is no American Freeway!
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Maangamizi: A failed allegory.
12 January 2002 | by See all my reviews

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.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 5 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page