Have you seen the movie The White Masai? Is it well-known? I had never heard of it until a friend here in Zacatecas lent it to me. I believe her exact description was: "It won't be your favorite movie…but you have to see it. For the experience." Ay Dios was she right.

I mean I had seen similar movies before. The kind where it's in your face, no avoiding the reality, you live in a bubble type movie. But this one hit me in certain places I wasn't expecting and I think part of it was due to the context I watched it in.

To begin with, there are three languages spoken in the movie: English, German, and the native Masai (an African tribe) language. So I understood some, and the other parts I was reading with Spanish subtitles. Changes the experience. Then, as it began, so ignorant and naïve is the little white girl, I say to myself, hey, it's kind of like my story! A woman leaves her home to go live in a foreign culture to enjoy not only it, but also the person she has fallen in love with! Right. Not only grossly generalized, but I'm not sure I could have been more off.

It's the (Hollywood version, I'm sure) story of a Swiss woman who experiences love at first sight with Samburu warrior in Kenya. She leaves her old life behind to begin a new one with him. Based on the book that tells the true story, you are constantly wondering- could I/ would I do something like this? I mean, the entire movie, it was like my little inner-gender alarm was blaring in this sickeningly high-pitched tone with the brightest red light you could EVER imagine. Ever 20 seconds there was a scene, or a character, or an event, or a place, or a reaction, or a comment that I just had no idea how I felt about. So many possible responses: It's cultural. I don't know what it's like. That's a complete disregard for her individual freedom. What would she put herself through that? Is that justified? That's justified. Why. Why? Why!? Oh, I get it. I mean they just went on and on.

I don't think I've actually given my interpretation a thorough analysis. Maybe I’m a little scared to. The comments at the bottom of the above-mentioned website provide some real profound examinations (large amounts of sarcasm were placed in that statement). I mean really, how much do people believe that women will do anything for love? Well…is it true? Which women? Why only women? And is it ok what this Swiss woman put herself through all of those things just for…love? And then there's the fact that with her presence in this village also comes the western presence, a whole different aspect of the movie that you must look at.

I felt that the ending of the movie brought relief but at the same time left many doubts, many questions. It's the never-ending debate of culture vs. an individual's rights. And then came the undeniable question- what would be different right now, at this moment, if I wasn't in Mexico? What would I have been outraged by that now only made me question? What would I have done differently if I were watching this before engaging in the experience I am having now. Really, the root of it all, I, as a white female westerner, am looking at this very differently that anyone who isn't a white female westerner would. The task is to try and think what I would be saying if I didn't fit that profile.

Oh and me having to deal with overbearing, traditional in-laws and a few whistles in the street? Children's games compared to this woman's story. I mean really, in the end, the question is: Can two people from completely different (to full extent of the word) cultures fall in love? Is it possible? Ok, yes? Then can they live a happy life together? What kind of sacrifices would you be willing to make to do so?

Oh Happy Thanksgiving. We're not so in to that here.

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