Celebrating a remarkable woman: Rosemary’s Way premieres at the Sydney Film Festival
Kicking off on the 10th of June with a fully virtual program, this year’s Sydney Film Festival presents an inspiring array of films from all corners of the globe.
One of the films we are most excited for is documentary Rosemary’s Way, directed by Ros Horin. The story follows Rosemary Kariuki – a strong and charismatic Kenyan-born woman who is passionate about creating genuine multiculturalism in Australia. Based in Western Sydney, she has made it her mission to empower and support migrant women in Australia.
Director Ros Horin has long been interested in telling the stories of migrants and refugees in her work, which spans across both theatre and film. She actually met Rosemary while filming her previous documentary The Baulkham Hills African Ladies Troupe, which screened at the Sydney Film Festival in 2016.
After getting to know her, Ros discovered that Rosemary was doing extraordinary things for her community.
“Rosemary said to me at the time, ‘I’ve got a mission to put multiculturalism into practice in this country. We talk about it every day but we don’t actually practice it.,” Ros said.
The film documents Rosemary’s projects, which are every bit as diverse as the migrant women she works with. Whether she is organising local Aussies to host migrant women in their homes or encouraging women to make the most of the opportunities available to them, the goal has always been to tackle the isolation which is so prevalent in this community.
The film also highlights the varied stories of the many women Rosemary has helped.
One of the main characters is Pasca – a Congolese woman – who surprised Ros when she told her she had never had a conversation with an Aussie before.
“I found that extraordinary. All these different groups are here. But do they ever mix or meet each other? And that’s what I was discovering, just how much they don’t!” Ros observed.
Ros commented on the interesting irony about screening a film about the importance of connection and community during Covid-19.
“I think the film will resonate very much in these Covid times because we’ve all started to experience the effects of isolation.”
“I also think people will love an uplifting story. There’s a lot of humour because Rosemary’s pretty hilarious,” she added.
Ros hopes that after watching the film, audiences will be inspired to make a change.
“You sort of come out of it thinking, my God! If one woman Rosemary can make such a difference in people’s lives, what can I do? What could we all do?” she said.
“I hope people will reach out in some way to migrants and refugees. I hope that through that collective response we can become a more welcoming society.”
In the future, Ros hopes to tour regional Australia with her film and inspire communities all around the country with Rosemary’s powerful way of connecting.