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Forbidden Freedom

Somalia, 1978

Two-thirds of Somalia’s population are pastoral nomads. Ever since the colonial period, they have fallen on bad times. The severe drought in 1975 put them into dire straits, and yet the nomads still produce 80% of Somalia’s exports. Theirs is a sizeable contribution to the revenue of the state. The nomads also cultivate large tracts of land that are otherwise not suitable for agriculture. Without their constant presence, this land would be rendered completely useless. Despite this, the Somalian government plans to make the nomads sedentary, by turning them into farmers and fishermen, into controllable citizens and taxpayers. The film documents the structural changes that caused the impoverishment and led to the dire consequences of the drought. It shows the life of the nomads and their importance in maintaining the fragile ecological balance.

a film by Gordian Troeller and Marie-Claude Deffarge
original title: Freiheit verboten
camera: Gordian Troeller
sound Stanislas Choco, Elmar Schmidt
editor: Ingeburg Forth
43 minutes

This film only exists in the German version.

Download the script

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