I was Born a Black Woman
(44 minutes) USA
Maria Luisa Mendonca and Vicente Franco
Producer: Kit Miller

UNAFF screening schedule

I was Born a Black Woman



I Was Born a Black Woman is a documentary based on the remarkable life of the first Afro-Brazilian woman to be elected to Brazil’s senate. Benedita da Silva was born to poverty, started working at age seven and gradually gained stature for herself and her community through education, faith in God and community organizing. Filled with Afro-Brazilian music, poetry and dance, I Was Born a Black Woman weaves a dynamic tale of black Brazil and one woman’s victory over racism. I Was Born a Black Woman was based on the acclaimed biography, "Benedita da Silva: An Afro-Brazilian Woman's Story of Politics and Love," written by Benedita da Silva, Maisa Mendonça (co-director of the film) and Medea Benjamin and published by Global Exchange and Food First.


Director Maria Luisa (Maisa) Mendonça co-authored the book on Benedita with Medea Benjamin and Benedita herself. Maisa has won many awards in the US, Canada and Latin America for her films. Her film Indonesia, One Struggle, One Change is being used by colleges and organizations working for democracy in Indonesia. She is the coordinator of the Brazil Program at Global Exchange in San Francisco.

Cinematographer, editor Vicente Franco has worked on more than two dozen films dealing with social issues in Latin America. They include The Fight in the Fields: Cesar Chavez and the Farm workers Struggle, Cuba Va, The Challenge of the Next Generation, and Freedom on my Mind, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award.

Producer, translator Kit Miller has photographed for the N.Y. Times, S.F. Chronicle, Native People’s Magazine, and other publications. In Brazil she covered street children, rubbertappers, and native people. Kit raised funds for Elvia, Land and Liberty, The Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo and Faces of War. Her photo of Benedita da Silva appears in Africana edited by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Contact Information:

Kit Miller
6185 Franktown Road
Carlson City, NV 89704
Phone: (775) 882-0191
Fax: (775) 882-3623
E-mail: kitmiller@aol.com

All material copyright 2000 UNAFF