Three and a half years after starting its life as a play at Sydney’s Riverside Theatre, Baulkham Hills African Ladies Troupe will now reach audiences far beyond the stage as a new film documentary.
Baulkham Hills African Ladies Troupe tells the true story of four African women who escaped civil war, rape, and domestic violence for a new life in Australia, specifically around the Sydney Hill’s suburb of Baulkham Hills.
These women – Yarrie, Aminata, Yordanos, and Rosemary - use the power of theatre to explore their trauma in a safe environment.
The women who feature in the film are not trained actors, but are simply telling their own personal stories of heartache, war, and triumph.
Amidst these dark and painful themes, the story is told through witty comedy, hilarious innuendo, and captures the heartwarming spirit of women looking out for other women.
The film features behind the scenes moments from the play, as well as interviews with the actors and director of the project, Ros Horin.
Following its debut at Riverside, the play was invited to perform at the Women of the World Festival in London at Southbank Playhouse.
The film has already been shown at both the Sydney and Melbourne International Film Festivals, to strong audience reviews. It ranked third among the Top 10 documentaries in the MIFF audience awards.
Watch 'The Baulkham Hills African Ladies Troupe'
SBS Australia, Sunday June 18, 10.30pm
Available after broadcast at SBS On Demand
Director: Ros Horin
Starring: Aminata Conteh-Biger, Yordanos Haile-Michael, Rosemary Kariuki-Fyfe, Yarrie Bangura
What's it about?
Four African Australian women (former refugees), all victims of sexual abuse and violence, take on the risky and difficult challenge of creating and performing their stories in a professional Theatre production. The film charts their journeys over a 5-year period from tentative and painful beginnings in exploratory workshops through to the eventual triumph of their theatre show against all the odds.