The Power of Solidarity
Watu Wote: All of Us by Katja Benrath from the Hamburg Media School was awarded the Student Academy Awards®, the Audience Choice Award for Best Film at Bermuda International Film Festival, Best Short Film at Brooklyn International Film Festival and the movie has currently won over thirty-five awards.
So what is the fuss about, the film deals with the friction between Muslims and Christians a very hot topic with the recent surge of terror attacks and the war in Syria. This moving film gives a sense of hope by showing that solidarity does prevail. In some parts of the world the situation is getting worse and worse. Kenya is one of those places were the mistrust between Muslims and Christians are steadily growing. Watu Wote: All of Us tells the story of the 2015 Mandera bus attack Kenya. The filmmaker says the movie is a tribute to the 28 people killed by jihadist group Al-Shabaab who attacked a Nairobi-bound bus in Mandera near the Kenya-Somali border.
The disagreement between Muslims and Christians have lead to several violent attacks, bringing fear to everyday life. Al-Shabaab is an jihadist fundamentalist group based in East Africa. They have pledged their allegiance and support to militant Islamist organization Al-Qaeda. The militant group “patrols” around in Kenya bringing fear to any Christian.
The story follows a bus traveling to Nairobi with both Muslim and Christian passengers. On the majority of its journey the bus has police escort, which gives some sense of safety. However during one of the regular stops the police car suffered mechanical failure and couldn’t continue its duty. Nairobi is so close yet so far with no police escort means a dangerous road ahead with possibility of attacks at any time. Indeed they get stopped by Al-Shabaab militia that brutally demands everyone to leave the bus. However in a touching show of solidarity The Muslim passengers protected the Christians, refused to separate and told the militants to kill them all. Muslims took a stand against the intimidating terrorists and protected their fellow travellers who might pray to a different God, but are the same inside. Many people were saved by a show of humanity and solidarity in the midst of a bloody conflict. This message is what makes this short student film worth all the awards it has been given.