Madonna's documentary highlighting the plight of Malawi's estimated one million Aids orphans has been given its world premiere in New York. The film, which the singer produced and narrated, tells the story of several children, many of them born to mothers who have died of Aids, most of whom lead desperate lives. On the red carpet at the Tribeca Film Festival, Madonna told reporters how I Am Because We Are contains a message of obligation. "We are responsible for each other and that if we can help in any way, shape or form, we should," she said. The documentary includes some excruciating scenes showing the agonising grief of a mother who has just lost her child to Aids. There is also a harrowing moment when a young boy - a victim of genital mutilation - is being treated by medical staff. But director Nathan Rissman said the idea was not just to shock audiences. "We decided, if we were going to wake people up, we were going to try to point them in the direction of how we can solve these problems. "There are so many solutions out there and I think that the more that we discuss this, the more that we have a dialogue about what to do, the better," he said. "So I think and I hope and pray that I found the balance of myself in the film as well as the stories of the children," she said. The film is being launched just as Madonna waits for her adoption of a young Malawi boy to be finally approved by a court in the country. The documentary shows the pop icon in a very positive light, but Madonna says she was ambivalent about appearing on camera. "In the beginning I wasn't in the movie at all, but then I realised because I was narrating that it was important that I let people know that it was my personal journey and my experience."
I am of the mind that anything that seeks to shed light on the plight of the suffering can only turn out to be a positive thing in the long run. Madonna has been very serious about trying to help the suffering people of Malawi and I absolutely believe that her goal is to try and help end the suffering, not to try and push her personal agenda (like some folks allege). It's so easy to level attacks at someone as famous as Madonna but I think it's absolutely commendable that she's really doing something that she believes in in order to try and effect some change in the world. [Source]
Here are a few pics of Madonna addressing the audience inside the theater where her documentary was screened:
And here is a gut-wrenching 6-minute video preview of what the documentary I Am Because We Are has in store for viewers:
6 Minutes to Save the World? Not really but I do believe that it is a bold first step to try and make a difference.