My Filmviews

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The Boys of Baraka (2005)

If you watched the HBO series the Wire, which was set in Baltimore and is considered quite realistic in its depiction of the issues going on in those streets, you won’t be surprised that kids in the poor neighbourhoods have a hard time growing up. There is a big chance that you will eventually be killed or locked up. One of the reasons this happens is that boys around 12 and 13 don’t do very well in school. What would happen if you take these boys out of their environment and really focus on them and give them the guidance they need? This is what the Baraka project did. Their new environment? Kenya, Africa.

It’s a big thing taking someone away from their home and family, but the idea behind the project is solid. These kids don’t have to worry about the dangers in their neighbourhood and can be what they are, boys. It’s clear that they are willing to change and they us about their goals and dreams. While they are in Baraka they can roam around and explore their surroundings, they are taught that there are other ways to deal with others and the school tries to bring out the best of them.

It’s a shame though that as you are watching this you never see how they end up. The project is stopped after tensions in Kenya rise and no real alternatives are offered to the boys and their parents. The boys return to a normal school and it seems that they go back to their old habits.
The documentary shows their experience in Africa, but there seemed to be too little in regards to results and the way the program handled specific situations. It was something I would have been interested in seeing, but was lacking. I don’t know if such a radical change of environment is needed to achieve the result this program was aiming for, but I do think that programs like the Baraka one should take place more to help kids without much of a future make it.

Score: 6

Category: Documentary, Movies
  • Pete says:

    Shame it skimps on the results. That sounds like a great project and a really interesting documentary.

    April 12, 2012 at 9:47 am
    • Nostra says:

      I guess it’s the thing with a documentary, you never know where it goes, but it could have gone a bit more in depth though.

      April 15, 2012 at 4:45 pm
  • yaykisspurr says:

    Fascinating…though I agree I would feel the whole documentary a letdown without the outcome from the project…

    BTW I nominated you for a Liebster Blog Award!

    Go here to see the details:)
    http://yaykisspurr.wordpress.com/2012/04/12/my-2nd-award-liebster-blog/

    April 12, 2012 at 9:55 pm
    • Nostra says:

      Wow, thank you for the nomination!

      April 15, 2012 at 4:46 pm
  • Amy Moss says:

    This sounds like a really interesting documentary Nostra, it’s a shame that it doesn’t perform as well as you hoped it would. I’m trying to watch more documentaries, so reading your thoughts is really very helpful!

    April 19, 2012 at 10:35 pm
    • Nostra says:

      If you are interested in watching more documentaries and want to know which ones to check out you can check out http://justdocumentaries.wordpress.com/reviews-by-subject/, which only has the documentary reviews I’ve done here. Haven’t updated it in a while though so later reviews are missing, but it’s a good starting point.

      April 20, 2012 at 3:11 pm

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