Directed by Anne Makepeace • Documentary • 2006 • 82 minutes
In 2004, thirteen thousand Somali Bantu refugees realized their dream of coming to America. They are now living in fifty cities across the country, becoming the largest African group from a single minority to settle in the United States at one time.
RAIN IN A DRY LAND chronicles two years in the lives of two extended Somali Bantu families as they leave behind a two-hundred year legacy of oppression in Africa to face new challenges in a strange new land. Despite racism, poverty, failures of the school system, and severe culture shock, both families do find ways to survive in America, and to create a safe haven for their war-torn families.
The film ends with two vivid celebrations: the naming ceremony of Aden and Madina's first American-born child; and the traditional wedding of Arbai's oldest daughter, a colorful reunion of hundreds of Somali Bantu families converging on Atlanta from all over America.