series event

Screening of Pili


Panel on HIV, Power and Violence Against Women
Tara Beattie (LSHTM), Nambusi Kyegombe (LSHTM), Virginia Berridge (LSHTM), Giulia Ferrari (Moderator)

Pili lives in rural Tanzania, working the fields for less than $2 a day to feed her two children and struggling to manage her HIV positive status in secret. When she is offered the chance to rent a sought-after market-stall, Pili is desperate to have it. But with only two days to get the deposit together, Pili is forced to make increasingly difficult decisions with ever-deepening consequences. How much will she risk to change her life? Pili is the first ever social-realist feature film to focus on women living with HIV in East Africa. It is one of the few films made in Africa that features an ensemble female cast and that uses almost entirely non-actors. The process of making the film was also unique. From the close collaboration with the women throughout the development of the story, to the casting process and the mixture of improvisation and scripted techniques used during the shoot. Pili is a singular collaboration between the filmmakers and the community, to tell the story of the community by the people that live there.

Production Details
Drama / UK / Swahili / 83 min / 2017
Production Company - Kuonekana Films
Producer - Sophie Harman
Director - Leanne Welham
Story - Sophie Harman and Leanne Welham
Screenplay - Leanne Welham
Bello Rashid
Nkwabi Elias Ng'angasamala
Sesilia Floran Kilimila
Sikujua Rashid
Mwanaidi Omari Sefi


Sophie Harman is Professor of International Politics at Queen Mary University of London where she teaches and conducts research into global health politics, African agency, and visual politics. Sophie produced and co-wrote the story of the award-winning feature film, Pili, as part of her AXA Insurance-funded project on ‘The Everyday Risk of HIV/AIDS treatment and care.’ PILI is a unique project in that is a co-produced piece of research between film-makers and the women of the Pwani region of Tanzania. The story of PILI is based on the lives of the women you see in the film. She publishes widely on a range of global health topics and is the author of  the books Global Health Governance, The World Bank and HIV/AIDS, and The Global Politics of Health Reform in Africa.



Free and open to all