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Monday, May 26, 2008

Madonna Launches Malawi documentary at Cannes

Madonna arrived at Cannes film festival yesterday with a documentary about the effects of disease and poverty in Malawi.

The film, I Am Because We Are, which she wrote and produced, was directed by her former gardener Nathan Rissman.

It shows how hard life is in Malawi and focuses particularly on children orphaned by Aids.

The film touches on Madonna’s controversial adoption of a baby boy, David Banda, whose mother was killed by the disease.

Speaking at a press conference to launch the film, Madonna discussed
her and husband Guy Ritchie’s battle to adopt their son, comparing the
pain of the process to natural childbirth:

"It was painful and a big struggle and I didn't understand it.

"But in the end I rationalised that when a woman has a child and goes
through natural childbirth she suffers an enormous amount," she said.

"So I went through my own kind of birthing pains, dealing with the
press on my doorstep, accusing me of kidnapping or whatever."

The singer refuted accusations that David was adopted without his
father’s consent – and that his mother had not really died of Aids:

"Yes, his mother did die of Aids and yes, I met his father and he absolutely agreed to the adoption," she said.

"There's just a lot of bureaucracy and administration because this
adoption essentially was the beginning of adoption laws in Malawi."

She added that she saw herself as a role model for future adoptions.

Her collaborator Rissman, who got to know the singer when his wife
worked as her nanny, spent six months over a two year period in Malawi.

Both Madonna and Rissman plan to continue making documentaries which focus on children.

Their next project is a film about the Israel-Palestine conflict.

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