Launching Orphans of the Land

This film, Orphans of the Land transmits the lived experience of resettlement.  Based on four years of research, it intends to puts faces to the people whose lives are changed by the decision-- a decision made far away from the land it would alter--  to fund a 'development' project. It evokes questions and reflections about the development paradigm imposed on resettled people and how international policy can influence the process. Instead of seeing resettlement as a set of numbers and costs, it It tells the intimate stories of people who have adapted to their new location and of those who are still imagining what it might be like after they move.

Nothing in this film was staged, no script was written. The residents of the three villages opened their hearts to us because of the years that I spent living with them and the trust that I had built over this time. The protest through song and dance may have been planned by the women of Massingir Velho, but it caught us, and the rest of the audience, by surprise. Although it may appear as though they are celebrating the move, this was their way to express the impotence they felt about the situation.  This form of protest is revealing of the culture of the resettling villages and their tendency to accept externally imposed change with grace, despite the consequences for their lives and futures. 

After multiple obstacles and setbacks, I am pleased to finally launch this film.   Many thanks to all of you for your commitment to this struggle and to your support in the past years.

Jessica Milgroom