When The Water Rises

When the water rises is an insightful documentary which highlights the lives of 8 Zanzibari families who are affected by multidimensional poverty and accordingly which resulted in by sending their kids to an orphanage located in industrial zone called Vingunguti in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The reasons of this emotional separation are told by the parents themselves and also by the kids throughout their life stories. Documentary film is directed and produced by Deniz Bagriacik who herself met the kids during her Ph.D field research in Tanzania where they are living in extreme poverty. Bagriacik is an author, columnist, sociologist who is specialised in gender and poverty issues and about the foreigners in a society.


In 2018, 1.334.000 people in the world experienced poverty by Multidimensional Poverty Index. No doubt the most affected area is Sub-Saharan Africa where 560 millions of those people are living. United Republic of Tanzania has one of the highest percentage: 55,63 % of population is suffering from multidimensional poverty. “ When the Water Rises” takes you to a journey to Zanzibar which is known as honeymoon island and also will show you a face of Island which is rarely seen.

The documentary takes place in two different locations : In Zanzibar where the parents live and in Dar es Salaam where more than 100 kids are staying in a non-legally registered orphanage. “When the water rises” starts with family portraits and tell their stories through the answers given to simple questions such as: Their educational background, job situation, how they decided to send their kids, the meaning of happiness, being poor and about their hopes. The children of these families were interviewed about their experiences, their lives in the orphanage and their perceptions about this separation in Dar es Salaam where the orphanage is located. The documentary shows the poverty from a multidimensional poverty measurement approach which underlines that poverty goes beyond economic deprivation. However the documentary would love to emphasize that these deprivations create another form of deprivation which is a very destructive one: Not being able to see their kids. Documentary has also focus on gender issues in which women were interviewed by this perspective in order to show the difficulties of being a single mother parent.

Directed by Deniz Bagriacik (Turkey)

Leave a Reply