WHY POVERTY? DOUBLE BILL: SOLAR MAMAS & EDUCATION, EDUCATION (15)
Dirs. Mona Eldaief & Jehane Noujaim
Country: USA / Denmark / Egypt
RT: 58 mins
Dir. Weijun Chen
RT: 59 mins
DocHouse's series of Why Poverty? preview screenings continues with a double
bill of films about very different kinds of learning.
Are women better at getting out of poverty than men? Being the second wife to an unemployed Bedouin has not afforded Rafea many opportunities to better herself, her family or the women in her community.
But the Barefoot College in India takes uneducated middle-aged women from
poor communities and trains them to become solar engineers, and Rafea has
been selected to attend the six month programme. Solar Mamas follows Rafea
and a hand-picked group of other illiterate mothers and grandmothers from
around the world as they learn about electrical components and soldering
without being able to read, write or understand English.
What does an education get you?
China's economic boom and talk of the merits of hard work have created an
expectation that to study is to escape poverty. But these days China's
higher education system only leads to jobs for a few, educating a new
generation to unemployment and despair. Weijun Chen's film looks at the
realities of Chinese education through the lives of Wang Zehziang, a tutor
at a private college, Wang Pan, high school graduate and would be student,
and Wan Chao, graduate job seeker who goes from one unpromising interview to another.
Why Poverty? is a cross media event, online and on TV, using films to get people talking about poverty.