School Librarian Journal
Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai. DVD. 80 min./53 min. (closed captioned). Prod. by Marlboro Prods. Dist. by New Day Films. 2008, 2009 release. ISBN 978-1-57448-237-9. public libraries/high schools: $89.
Gr 9 Up–Wangari Maathai won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for her efforts in establishing the Green Belt Movement, a grassroots undertaking that began with planting trees and expanded to a broader agenda including environmental protection, women’s rights, and civic education. The film, focusing on Maathai’s homeland of Kenya, elucidates the importance of the oral tradition in African history and the peoples’ relationships to the environment, and it reviews the impact of colonialism, deforestation, and decades of dictatorial rule on the country. The women of the communities not only confronted environmental degradation, they became a political force that helped unseat the dictatorship. Beginning as a small endeavor, the Green Belt Movement has now planted more than 35 million trees and transformed the lives of countless people. Professor Maathai’s personal story is inspiring, and she truly lives her mantra of empowering oneself and giving hope to others. Among the bonus features are interviews with Maathai and members of the Green Belt Movement.
Planting Hope: Wangari Maathai & the Green Belt Movement. DVD. 7 min. Prod. by Marlboro Prods. Dist. by takingrootfilm.com. 2009. $10. (Gr 2 Up) Planting Hope, a seven-minute synopsis of Taking Root, could be shown to students in the third grade and above and could be used to generate discussion. Geography, environmental studies, history, and sociology classes can utilize this DVD to study and investigate a plethora of current issues.
Patricia Ann Owens, Illinois Eastern Community Colleges, Mt. Carmel
School Library Journal, September 2010