In 2006, filmmaker Jehane Noujaim made her TED Prize wish: that for one day, the world would band together for the shared experience of watching film. “As the world is getting smaller,” she said onstage, “it becomes more and more important that we learn each other’s dance moves, that we meet each other, that we get to know each other, that we are able to figure out a way to cross borders, to understand each other.”
Now, Noujaim’s newest film, Solar Mamas, follows Rafea, a Jordanian woman who attends the revolutionary Barefoot College in India.
As the school’s founder, Bunker Roy, explained in his 2011 TEDTalk, “Learning from a barefoot movement,” the college teaches rural women and men — many of them illiterate — to become engineers, artisans and doctors. There are only two rules for enrollment — you must be poor to attend and you must take your learnings home to your village. Rafea is chosen, along with 26 other mothers and grandmothers, to get a…
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