Director Branwen Okpako’s award-winning documentary The Education of Auma Obama is scheduled to screen in London on Election Day, according to CNN.
The film chronicles the life of Auma Obama, US President Barack Obama’s older half-sister. The film follows Auma and her family during the 2008 presidential election. Although she was thousands of miles away from her sibling when he was elected president, the historic win was still overwhelming for his sister.
“The film deals with that moment in time when history was made, but also how they got to that moment,” Okpako explained. “All the family was there, the grandmother, all the cousins. Once the result was known everybody in the village came into the compound to celebrate. There must have been hundreds of people there.”
The Film Society of Lincoln Center describes the film as follows:
“The Education of Auma Obama’ is a captivating and intimate portrait of U.S. president Barack Obama’s older half-sister, who embodies a post-colonial, feminist identity in her native Kenya. Nigerian-born director Branwen Okpako’s film also documents a generation of politically and socially engaged Africans whose aspirations are informed by their parents’s experiences, and whose ambition to forge a better future for their communities starts from the ground up.”
Auma explained that — had Branwen Okpako not been a close, trusted friend — she may not have agreed to participate in the documentary.
“I wasn’t particularly enthusiastic when Branwen first suggested the film, but I agreed because she is a friend and I trusted her. If it had been a stranger, I don’t think I would have done it,” Auma said. “It has put me in the limelight in a way that wouldn’t have happened otherwise.”
Although Okpako wanted to interview President Obama for the film, fitting such a chat into the man’s busy schedule proved too difficult to maneuver. “He asked for a copy and we sent it, but I don’t know if he has watched it,” she explained.
The Education of Auma Obama will screen on Election Day at the Film Africa festival in London. Okpako will be in attendance for a question and answer session following the showing. Screen Africa reports that the documentary will also screen at this year’s International Image Film Festival in Zimbabwe on November 24. The director is slated to appear at this event as well.