The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. For more information on films playing in the Cinémathèque, please call 773-281-4114. To order advance tickets online, visit the TicketWeb website by clicking here.
Chicago Premiere One screening only!
BONSAI PEOPLE: The Vision of Muhammad Yunus
"Heartfelt and thought-provoking" -Spirituality & Practice
"This empowerment of females in a largely Muslim, male-dominated world is especially salubrious, and we see the healthy effect of their success on their spousal relationships and family" -Film Journal Intl
In a destitute country facing famine, natural disasters, and a beleaguered government, Muhammad Yunus saw an opportunity to help people one by one, and built an organization of others helping poor people help themselves. Yunus's Grameen Bank, through micro-lending of small loans of toward local agriculture and commerce, has seen over a 90% repayment of loans and helped one out of a thousand people on earth. Beyond loans, Grameen fosters community development through regular meetings with borrowers and group educational programs. This enterprise of meeting the needs of the poor through enabling struggling people with resources to become their own producers earned Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank the Nobel Peace Prize -- rather than the prize for Economics; this was tribute to the meaningful stability created by empowering the disenfranchised.
Holly Mosher's new film Bonsai People: Celebrating the Work of Muhammad Yunus details this process of development through following women borrowers in small villages as they use their Grameen loans to go to work for themselves, as well as through extensive exclusive commentary from Muhammad Yunus himself.
What Bonsai People ultimately accomplishes is not just putting a human face on the issue of micro-lending, but noting the emergence of women in a culture that has long subjugated the role of females as servants to their husband, banishing them from the local marketplace. Yunus observed how women were neglected even though they were relied upon to keep the family together, and began aiming his loans more and more toward ways that women can make an impact given their gender role traditions. In a culture that has resisted upheaval for centuries, women have started to emerge from their quiet compliance to become a growing sector for trade, thanks in large part to the opportunities offered by Yunus and Grameen. (John Wellington Ellis, Huffington Post)
Directed by Holly Mosher, 2010, USA/Bangledesh, 79 min.