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This screening is presented as part of the LiveLocal/ThinkGlobal Network, Global Perspectives Film Series, in partnership with ITVS. Pushing the Elephant is the true story of Rose Mapendo and her heroic effort to escape the violence in her country, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, keep her family intact and start life anew in the United States. Following the screening of the documentary, Pushing the Elephant, there will be a discussion with Aisha Bain, Women’s Protection and Empowerment, International Rescue Committee, moderated by Ambassador Sharon Wilkinson of Meridian.
In the late 1990s, Rose Mapendo was imprisoned with her family during violence that engulfed the Democratic Republic of Congo. When the war came to Rose’s village, she was separated from daughter Nangabire, who was 4 years old. Rose escaped with nine of her 10 children and was eventually resettled in Arizona. More than a decade later, Rose and Nangabire are reunited and must face the past and build a new future.
Rose now struggles to find balance in her life as a mother of 10 and a full-time advocate for refugees, women, and peace in her country. Her speaking engagements take her around the world--from the White House and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, to meetings with displaced women in Congo. Meanwhile Nangabire, now 17, must adapt to America and discover how she fits into the Mapendo family. As they get to know one another, the mother and daughter must come to terms with a painful past, and define what it means to be a survivor, a woman, a refugee, and an American.