National Geographic

Albino United 

Duration: 1 x 52 mins
Producer: Nick Broomfield
Production Company 1: A National Geographic Television Production

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Over the last year, more than 40 albinos have been murdered in Tanzania, some as young as six months old. Many more have been attacked with machetes and their limbs cut off while alive. Their body parts are used by witchdoctors in potions and remedies. They are believed to bring wealth and success in business. The extremes of wealth and poverty in Tanzania have created a desperation and search for any solution. Many fishermen believe that having the hairs of an albino in your net will bring you more fish, while the primitive gold and diamond miners camped out on the side of hills, who experience frequent falls and deaths, believe that having a powder made of the crushed bones of an albino will bring you more gold.  The killings have now spread to neighbouring countries, like Kenya, Uganda and Burundi, and an international market for albino body parts demanding as much as £2000, has reached as far as West Africa.

The situation has become so bad that Oscar, a respected Tanzanian businessman, has decided to do something about it.  He is not an albino – but does have a vision for them and wants Tanzanians to recognise that albinos are human beings like everybody else.  He decided that this message could best be spread by example and exposure – and in a world fuelled for so many by football, what better way than a football team with albino players?

This extraordinary film, produced by multi award-winning filmmaker Nick Broomfield, follows Albino United in their first season in the Tanzanian league. We meet a range of amazing characters along the way and through the members of the team we will follow the daily life of albinos living in Tanzania, and reveal the ongoing situation surrounding albinos in this part of the world. Through the portrait of the team we also see the bigger picture surrounding Tanzanian society. We will see how so many people in a country with such poverty and desperation have reverted to a spiritual and superstitious existence to bring them luck and fortune, and why albinos are at the centre of this.

In a year when both Africa and football was very much in the headlines around the world, Albino United brings both topics together in a unique and fascinating story.

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