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January 17, 2022

Tanzanian filmmakers behind the country’s first film to be streamed on Netflix have spoken about what it means for women.

Binti, which was first aired on Netflix on 7 January, is a story about the lives and struggles of four women surviving extreme hardship in Dar es Salaam.

Binti is about the painful circumstances that some women find themselves in, in the pursuit of a perfect life - and why the life that they yearn for may not be as rosy as it seems to the public eye, according to its producers.

Godliver Gordian, one of the film's actresses, said the film helps expose the pain that women in families silently endure. "Binti has given a voice to those who cannot speak. There are some things that families or couples will go through but one of the partners does not get help or talk about what they are going through," she told BBC News Swahili.

"We in Tanzania are making a local film but there is someone in Kazakhstan who is watching it and saying… 'this has touched me as a woman,'" says Seko Shamte, the film’s director.

"I get messages from the UK, Kenya, South Africa and the world in general, so I know this is a film that has touched all women and some men too," she adds.

The film premiered at the Los Angeles film festival last year - and was screened elsewhere including in Kenya, the US and Germany before the Netflix deal.