The Tanzanian government has lambasted a documentary about attacks on albinos in the country, saying the film is sensational, inaccurate, and ignores attempts to put an end to the horrific acts.
The Boy from Geita tracks the story of an albino child attacked for his body parts which are highly prized by witchdoctors in the formulation of muti for good luck. It also documents the aid he received from Under The Same Sun, a Canadian charity which advocates for people living with albinism.
In the film, Thomson Reuters Foundation reports, much of the blame is placed on ignorance and superstition among some Tanzanians for believing albinos are ghosts who bring bad luck and their body parts hold special powers to reverse this bad luck.
Tuvako Monongi, Tanzania’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, dismissed the film, saying it contained “exaggerations, drama and blatant disregard of the positive measures we are taking as a country.”
The film’s release in the US comes after a warning by a UN human rights expert that attacks on albinos in Africa are on the rise ahead of the October 25 elections as some political candidates stimulate the trade in albino body parts.
A complete set of body parts from an albino, including “all four limbs, genitals, ears, tongue and nose,” can bring in up to $75,000 on the black market, according to a 2009 report by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
The film opens in the United States on Friday. Watch the trailer below:
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