Rain in a Dry Land

Two Somali Bantu families leave behind a legacy of slavery in Africa to face new challenges as Muslim immigrants in post-9/11 America.

Film Signature Image
POV, Global Voices
Premiere Date
June 19, 2007
90 minutes
Funding Initiative
Open Call
  • Award laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2006 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival-Working Films Award
  • Award laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2007 Hugo Television Awards-Gold Plaque
  • Nominated laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2008 News and Documentary Emmy Awards-Outstanding Continuing Coverage of a News Story
  • Producer/Director

    Anne Makepeace

    Anne Makepeace has been a writer, producer, and director of award-winning independent films for more than 20 years. After years of working in the narrative feature world, Makepeace made her first documentary, Baby, It’s You, in 1998. An intimate personal film that explores the world of fertility intervention through the lens of her own experiences, Baby It’s You Show more premiered at Sundance 1998, was the lead show on POV’s 1998 season, and was also screened as part of the Whitney Biennial 2000. Her films include We Still Live Here - Âs Nutayuneân, I.M. Pei: Building China Modern, Rain in a Dry Land for POV, Eleanor Roosevelt: Close to Home, and Coming to Light. Makepeace also wrote the screenplay for the successful Thousand Pieces of Gold, and the American Experience documentary Ishi, the Last Yahi. In addition to many festivals, her films have been screened at the Whitney Biennial, the Smithsonian, the Musée de l’Homme, the Museum of the American Indian, and many other museums, schools, colleges, and movie theaters around the country. Her work has been funded by the Pulitzer Foundation, the Sundance Documentary Fund, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, ITVS, the NEA, the NEH, the Ford Foundation, American Masters, Showtime Networks Inc., HBO, A&E, and the American Film Institute. Show less

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    The Film

    How do you measure the distance from an African village to an American city? What does it mean to be a refugee in today’s “global village”? Rain in a Dry Land provides eye-opening answers as it chronicles the fortunes of two Somali Bantu families, transported by relief agencies from years of civil war and refugee life to Springfield, Massachusetts and Atlanta, Georgia. As the newcomers confront racism, poverty, and 21st-century culture shock, the film captures their efforts to survive in America and create a safe haven for their war-torn families. Their poetry, humor, and amazing resilience show us our own world through new eyes.