Wangari Maathai

woman of the green belt movement

filmmakers Alan Dater and Lisa Merton

women planting trees
Produced and Directed by Lisa Merton and Alan Dater
80 minutes
Taking Root
The Vision of Wangari Maathai

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Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai tells the dramatic story of Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Wangari Maathai whose simple act of planting trees grew into The Green Belt Movement, a nationwide campaign to safeguard the environment, protect human rights, and defend democracy. The film follows Maathai’s courageous thirty-year struggle against deforestation, poverty, and political repression.

Viewer Comments:

Part of the acclaimed PBS-aired Independent Lens series, Taking Root tells the story of Wangari Maathai, the university professor and political activist who became a Nobel Peace Prize-winning leader of an ecological movement in Kenya….The uplifting narrative is nicely backed by gorgeous camerawork and an original soundtrack from African musician Samite. DVD extras include information on the Nobel Peace Prize, civic and environmental education workshops, and colonial history, as well as bonus interviews with Maathai. Highly recommended.
- Video Librarian Review

“The film exceeds even my high hopes. [Taking Root] is much more than a moving tribute to Wangari Maathai, although it certainly is that. It captures the transformative potential of “regular people” finding their voices. It proves that courage is contagious.”
- Frances Moore Lappé, author

“Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai is an astounding film, capturing for years and populations to come the life and work of one of history’s most extraordinary women, one in whose living presence we are blessed to share.”
- Thomas Berry, author, theologian and cultural historian

“Taking Root is a wonderful film, which both informs and inspires in the best of ways.”
- Sean Farnell, Director of Programming, Hot Docs International Film Festival

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