Sauti (Voice) has received several accolades and awards before its official premiere:
-Best Woman Filmmaker from the Canadian Diversity Film Festival
-Award of Excellence from Impact Docs
-Award of Merit from Accolade Global Film Competition
“Surviving the Death Road” won Best Documentary at the Third World Indie Film Festival in San Francisco, CA.
“The historic value of the film was first-rate. And Penny was refreshing and enlightening in her candor. The racing highlight was the Belmont Stakes, with Penny superimposed against the race footage. This was excellent film-making, and it is obvious that John Tweedy is gifted at his craft. I highly recommend this film . . . as real-life and compelling a drama as one can squeeze into one hour.”
– Steve Haskin, The Blood Horse
Dr. Beret E. Strong and John Tweedy’s short documentary offers an overview of the social and economic challenges that continue to plague Bolivia’s black population. The Afro-Bolivians, as they’re known, are descendants of the African slaves brought to the Andes by the Spanish conquistadors. Bolivia did not abolish the last vestiges of slavery until 1952, and the Afro-Bolivians continue to face racism and poverty. Sadly, the population lacks political muscle—in one of the film’s most shocking moments, a black woman is shooed away from a polling station during a local election—and the national census does not even acknowledge the existence of this demographic group. Coca farming has been one of the few areas where the people can thrive, but it’s been threatened by American pressure due to the plant’s use in producing cocaine. Many Afro-Bolivians are banking on higher education—especially nursing—to create a new wave of employment opportunities. Saya also holds out hope that unique Afro-Bolivian cultural expressions, particularly the titular dance that originated in Africa, can break down racial barriers. In one of its most buoyant moments, an all-black dance group entertains the multicultural participants at a regional festival, resulting in a happy mix of folks of different heritages literally dancing in the streets. Recommended (3 stars).
–Video :Librarian Aud: C, P. (P. Hall)