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The Story of the Maasai Tribe in the Film “Man of Serengeti”

The movie Man of Serengeti (1972) was directed by Robert Young and produced by the National Geographic Specials. The piece is a documentary, centered on the life in the East African country Tanzania. Although Man of Serengeti was released almost fifty years ago, it continues to be an excellent illustration of how the modern world affects the ancient traditions and nature’s life.

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The main idea for this film it to show how both the people from the tribe and the surrounding nature get affected by the intervention of the civilization. In the beginning, the main character is introduced to the viewer. Sam ole Saitoti was a ranger working in the National Park. Formerly, he used to be a part of the Maasai – a tribe which lived in the Serengeti Plain. The story of Sam is a vivid illustration of how the tribesman can get in touch with the rest of the world. Although, as he admitted he was not keen on the idea at the beginning. Sam was one of the first people from his tribe and the first from his family to attend school. Hi was forced to do so as it was the requirement of the government. This opportunity is what connected him to the modern world. He was able to learn English and get educated. In the movie, the viewer can witness the return of Sam ole Saitoti home to his family.

The movie showcases the life of the Maasai tribe, their habits, and traditions. Although the area they live in is protected by law as it is the National Park of Tanzania, they cannot escape the civilization entirely. These people consider themselves warriors and pride their heritage. The movie describes the land were the tribe lives, the Tanzanian plain. The area is inhabited with many wild animals, most notably with lions. The respect of the tribe people to the animals they live around is very significant in understanding their relationship with nature. As stated by Gardner (2016) at one point, the tribe has given up part of their land to the government in return for the protection of lions. Sam ole Saitoti carried out this approach to his adult life.

Despite all of this, they are unable to disconnect from the modern world. In one episode, the father of the main character is sent to the hospital. This scene showcases the fact that inevitably the tribe will have to work out a way to coexist or adapt to the rest of the world. In the film, it is acknowledged that the young Maasai will have to live in a very different world than the one their fathers and fathers have lived in. The story of the main character is the best example of that.

Overall, Man of Serengeti portrays the story of the Maasai tribe, their traditions, and day-to-day life. It shows the contrast between the life of a man who got the education and proceeded to live in a different setting and his family members that remained to live in the plains. Inevitably, the tribe will have to get in touch with the rest of the world. However, as it is shown in the film, Sam ole Saitoti had remained a Maasai at heart. He cherished the nature and was keen to protect the wildlife from the threats of the civilization.

References

Gardner, B. (2016). Selling the Serengeti: The cultural politics of safari tourism. Athens, GA: the University of Georgia Press.

Young, R. (Director). (1972). Man of the Serengeti. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, December 30). The Story of the Maasai Tribe in the Film “Man of Serengeti”. https://studycorgi.com/the-story-of-the-maasai-tribe-in-the-film-man-of-serengeti/

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"The Story of the Maasai Tribe in the Film “Man of Serengeti”." StudyCorgi, 30 Dec. 2021, studycorgi.com/the-story-of-the-maasai-tribe-in-the-film-man-of-serengeti/.

1. StudyCorgi. "The Story of the Maasai Tribe in the Film “Man of Serengeti”." December 30, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/the-story-of-the-maasai-tribe-in-the-film-man-of-serengeti/.


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StudyCorgi. "The Story of the Maasai Tribe in the Film “Man of Serengeti”." December 30, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/the-story-of-the-maasai-tribe-in-the-film-man-of-serengeti/.

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "The Story of the Maasai Tribe in the Film “Man of Serengeti”." December 30, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/the-story-of-the-maasai-tribe-in-the-film-man-of-serengeti/.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'The Story of the Maasai Tribe in the Film “Man of Serengeti”'. 30 December.

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