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Wandering Warrior Review by Anissa DeGrasse

Clifford Moskow and Rhonda Richards
Documentary Educational Resources
101 Morse Street
Watertown, MA 02472
800-569-6621 or 617-926-0491

Wandering Warrior is a film inspired by the life of a Maasai Warrior Mpeti Ole Surum. Mpeti meets an American tourist who was on safari in Kenya. The tourist tells Mpeti about the 'outside world' which inspires Mpeti to enter school at the age of nineteen, changes his name to "Tom" and three years later he graduates with an eighth-grade education and the ability to read and write in English.

Tom takes a job at the Keekorok Lodge; a resort owned by the United Touring Company, Kenya's largest tourist agency located in the Maasai Mara Game Reserve. He fills several positions as a laborer but made an impression on the guests when he spoke of the Maasai culture. Because of his charismatic speeches, Tom begins to speak and act out many of the Maasai traditions. He dresses in the traditional ochre cape and tunic with a spear in one hand.

Eventually, Tom moves to America and begins speaking in schools and educating Americans about the Maasai traditions. While speaking he meets an American woman and desires to marry her. They have a Maasai wedding where approximately 30,000 people attend. Tom and his new wife tell about their life and share some of their struggles of their life because of Tom's job as a "cultural lecturer."

This film is very entertaining because Tom is a very interesting and amusing person. He tells stories in a way that make you want to hear more. The film is very well done and authentic to the Maasai tribe. Because the film takes you from America to Kenya several times you can see comparisons between the two cultures. This is a wonderful way to introduce or to learn more about the Kenyan cultures.

Also included is a study guide with a brief synopsis, objectives, vocabulary, questions for before and after the film, extension activities, research topics and writing assignments and resources with web links. The study guide contained information that was not presented in the film, which made our study even more detailed. Documentary Educational Resources also carries other films that will improve understanding of the African cultures. This film is a wonderful addition to our studies and film library!

Documentary Educational Resources is a non-profit organization that produces documentary films from around the world for educational use. Their website is very informative and easy to navigate. Included on their website is information about workshops, services, and company information. You can also donate to specific projects from their website as well.

-- Product Review by: Anissa DeGrasse, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine