SOMALILAND is a feature-length documentary about hope, perseverance, and the transformative power of education.
After a brutal civil war with Somalia, Somaliland declared its independence in 1991 but has remained internationally unrecognized since. It is still one of the poorest nations in the world, devoid of functioning systems of governance, medicine, or education. In 2009 a young Wall Street executive opened a school called Abaarso to develop the future leaders of the country (www.abaarsoschool.org). Just as his young school began to provide life changing opportunities to his students, nefarious elements of society conspired against him, putting the students’ progress and dreams precariously hanging in the balance.
This story follows five Abaarso students as they apply to American schools and universities, with the hopes of their friends, families, school, and country on their shoulders. They are attempting to join the ranks of the first Somali students to attend US schools in over 30 years.