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21 Responses to “Reviews”

  1. Gail & Gordy Ericksen says:

    Seeing Tunahaki was a great experience for both of us. It reemphasized the basic truth that healthy lives are built on close, loving personal relationships, not on material stuff. And those relationships all develop and exist within this thing we call “culture”. When we mess with other people’s culture, we mess up the network of relationships that the people need tp be strong and healthy. I see that clearly now. I’m not sure I would have seen it any better than Scott did if I had been in his shoes. Thanks again for a great documentary and a great life lesson.

  2. Julia says:

    I have been a ‘supportive observer’ of this film making journey from the beginning when Mason was blogging from Tanzania during his first trip. As a longtime friend of Mason’s, I know Mason to be an extremely talented film maker, cinematographer, story teller and photographer. I was not surprised at the outstanding quality of the film, production, music and images. What is surprising is the tragedy of these young people in Tanzania and the ongoing unfinished story that seems very dismal. However, Mason’s ability to tell the story and his courage to tell the truth is what has become the importance of the film. Upon leaving the theater I am faced with asking myself questions like: Who am I serving when I volunteer, myself or the issue at hand? Is it better to expose people who have less than me to a grandiose world and not expose them to methods and skill sets to get there themselves? How do I continue my work in non-profit/and volunteering and insure that the impact is sustainable? Many thanks to Mason and his entire team for this documentary. It was originally supposed to be a ‘beautiful’ story to tell/share, it has become a true educational discussion for not just for academia, but all of us who are open to creating change in the our community.

  3. Kelly Francia says:

    I thought the film was great. I liked how the story developed and it showed real life. I think there are many things that a person can learn from seeing this film. I hope that the film comes to DVD or TV so I can tell other people to watch it! Fantastic!

  4. Gapsfafttat says:

    Every man, when he comes to be sensible of his natural rights, and to feel his own importance, will consider himself as fully equal to any other person whatever.

  5. Triarveteag says:

    The thing we fear we bring to pass.

  6. AL says:

    I was definitely in for a surprise at the end of this film and I appreciate that the filmmaker remained honest in the storytelling. The curve ball came so quick though that I found myself wishing there was a bit more. The point was made though and the opportunity for reflection and dialog was provided. Moving, insightful and thought provoking. This is a touching story that highlights some very important questions. Well done!

  7. Peter Sheerin says:

    This is unlike any documentary we have seen. It’s one thing to see a film about the good in charity; the ideal of giving, and its positive effect upon someone’s life. Quite another to witness an honest portrayal of the darker aftereffects of both. My wife, Nancy and I have seen Tunahaki twice now, and it is still provokes thought.

  8. Stacey J. Aswad says:

    The story of the TUNAHAKI orphans is like none I’ve seen before, it can make you laugh one moment and cry the next. You feel like you go on an emotional journey of your own thanks to Mason Bendewald’s impressive and candid storytelling abilities. Visually the images are stunning, evocative and majestic. The musical score is an amazing language of its own, and throughout the film I felt it was used to carry the story forward better than words could. There is such hope, strength of spirit, and humanity in the stories of the children and their teacher, David. I find myself still wondering about them and how their lives are since their time in the USA.

    For anyone who has ever wanted to help those with different life experience, you must see this film. It is so thought provoking with regard to what kind of help should you give and how should you go about delivering that help. What kind of help is good, necessary, life sustaining aid? I promise that you will walk away asking those questions and having long discussions with your circle of trust of how to answer them. TUNAHAKI is the definition of what a documentary film should be, because it shows you the truth without filters and judgment. TUNAHAKI will change your life, your perceptions of the world you live in and the world you have yet to discover.

  9. Todd says:

    I can’t urge people enough to see this film. I was inexpressably moved and inspired, as I have been only a few times in my life. The hearts of everyone involved in this story are so enormous it is overwhelming. Despite the admittedly disheartening ending, I have been newly motivated to donate my time (and, if I ever some, my money) to helping those in need. A beautiful, soul-altering film.

  10. On behalf of my tunahaki children and me, we love the film story but we feel discouraged at the end.

    Thanks for everyone in USA .

  11. Jamey says:

    I have deep admiration for films that don’t shy away from telling the harder tale, films that push on into the shadow to reveal what’s not immediately obvious. With a warm-fuzzy subject matter like that of Tunahaki, the danger would be to stay in the light, leaving audiences with a pleasant and good-feeling–yet incomplete–tale of an heroic American benefactor bestowing African children with the blessings of the West. Instead, Tunahaki manages to pose hard questions about the potentially misguided priorities of American culture, and does it without being preachy or heavy-handed. No one would argue against the joy that was brought into the lives of these kids by the American. Yet Tunahaki serves to remind that with nearly every good intention comes something unexpected–and all too frequently something unfortunate–and furthermore, that those who teach must also be willing and prepared to be taught.

  12. Paula Hawkins says:

    I was immediately drawn into this documentary. The story of the children touched my heart. They were so innocent and joyful in the beginning and when they returned home their lives, attitudes and hopes had changed. The ending truly makes you ponder. This is a documentary everyone should see.

  13. Aaron Aviles says:

    “You can’t help but be moved to action. The childrens’ purity and honest enjoyment is infectious. You can’t help but feel something. Beautiful cinematography captures not only the beauty of Tanzania but the raw enthusiasm of the orphans.”

  14. Graham says:

    “A very interesting way of looking at charities and how good intentions don’t always go quite as planned. Fun, charming, and entertaining film.”

  15. Marty Hawkins says:

    Watching Tunahaki was an uplifting experience. The enthusiasm of the children toward their experience in the USA was infectious and inspiring. As one who has been involved in mission experiences, the film caused me to reflect on how I might deepen my own commitment to make a difference in this world. The somewhat troubling (but honest) information at the end was very thought-provoking, to say the least and shows the producer and director were committed to honesty, not propaganda.

  16. Liz Lytle says:

    “It was a long four year journey, but it was worth the wait!”
    -Liz L.

  17. Rhonda Christou says:

    “I was truly moved by the children of TUNAHAKI.”
    -Rhonda C.

  18. Deanna Scott says:

    “I really liked that it ended honestly. We talked about it all the way home.”
    -Deanna S.

  19. Melanie L. says:

    “Thoughtful, enchanting, and stirs the right questions!”
    -Melanie L.

  20. Leslie Abbott says:

    “I am moved by the honesty of the documentary. . .It gives me a lot to think about: first and third worlds, charity vs. self-determination, the vapid traps of western culture, wounded healers. Magnificent work. I am touched. I am grateful.”
    -Leslie A.

  21. Melissa Greenspan says:

    “a beautiful and emotional film that will stay with me for a long time. Without even knowing it the kids help us see ourselves in a new way.”
    -Melissa G.