The 10 Best Documentaries About Somalia

Oct 2, 2023 | Best Of, Geography, History

Are you looking for a unique way to learn about Somalia? Why not watch documentaries about the beautiful and complex nation? Documentaries can be an engaging and informative way to explore different cultures, politics, religions, and societies. From powerful films highlighting the struggles of everyday Somalis to stories of resilience and hope – there is something for everyone when it comes to Somali documentaries. Let’s take a look at some of the best documentaries about Somalia that you should watch.


1. Somalia: The Forgotten Story

Somalia is a country with a complex history. It achieved independence, economic prosperity and democratic rule in the 1960s, only to be followed by a period of military dictatorship during the 70s and 80s. This was then swiftly replaced by civil war and chaos which has continued to this day.


2. While a War Rages in Ukraine, A Global Crisis is Escalating in Somalia

Somalia is a place filled with danger, unrest and despair. For close to two decades, the nation has been embroiled in conflict with al-Shabaab, an extremist terrorist organization supported by al-Qaeda. This has caused tremendous hardship for its people and their country as a whole.


3. Two Weddings, Somali Style

When it comes to wedding celebrations, Somalia has a rich tradition of combining both the old and new. From classic ceremonies involving traditional guests and attire to contemporary nuptials with modern flair, Somalia’s diverse range of marriage customs offer something for every couple. Whether you are looking for an intimate gathering or something more grandiose, there is plenty to explore in this East African country.


4. Somalia – The Great Struggle (1976)

In 1976, a remarkable documentary short was filmed in East Germany. This film put Somalia on the map as it showcased the country in a way that had never been done before. Filmed by an experienced German cinematographer, this documentary peculiarly captured the culture, customs and beauty of Somalia from a unique angle.


5. Somalia: A Country In Free Fall? The Terrorist Threat

The Republic of Somalia has been in a state of disarray for decades. From its lack of effective government to the presence of armed Islamist groups who take orders from Al Qaeda, it is clear that the country is far from having any semblance of order. The situation has become even more dire with the near-daily attacks and bombings, as well as no public services or banking system. In addition, the army is severely under-equipped and the police force lacks adequate resources to maintain law and order.


6. Socotra – The treasure island between Yemen and Somalia

Somalia is a place of beauty and mystery, its stunning views a panorama of African life. Located off the coast of Yemen, the small island nation has an incredible story to tell – one that can be explored with some of the best documentaries about Somalia. From uncovering tales of ancient civilizations to exploring political upheaval in modern times, these films offer insight into the many facets of a complex and often misunderstood nation.


7. I went to Somalia for 24 hours and met a Real Pirate

Welcome to “The People” channel. I’m Anton Lyadov and in this video, we’re going to explore the fascinating world of Somalia. This country is located in the Horn of Africa and has been largely unrecognized by the rest of the world for many years. But now it’s become a hot spot for modern piracy – full of Somali pirate cities, boats, and ships – all of which we’ll explore in this documentary travel vlog.


8. Somalia: The Forgotten Story

The ongoing civil war has caused serious damage to Somalia’s infrastructure and economy. Thousands of Somalis have either left as economic migrants or fled as refugees. Most spent months, if not years, in refugee camps aboard. Around 200,000 Somalis refugees have fled to Yemen and roughly 50,000 to the UAE. There are around 150,000 Somalis living in Canada, 100,000 in the UK and 85,000 in the US.


9. The Pirates Who Rule the Somalian Seas

Pirateland (2009): This documentary takes a deep dive into the lives of Somali fishermen who’ve turned to piracy for survival. Offering a unique perspective, this film examines why so many have resorted to such drastic measures and what can be done to bring an end to Somalia’s thriving pirate culture. With interviews from those involved on both sides, it paints a vivid picture of what’s really happening in the region and how it needs to be addressed. The film highlights the desperate need for well-thought out solutions if this destructive cycle is ever to be broken


10. Somalia: ‘My Bloody Country’

Jamal Osman, a Somali reporter, has witnessed his home country torn apart by tangles of civil war for over three decades. The horrors and atrocities that arose as consequence of this conflict have left an indelible scar in the minds of many across Somalia and around the world. It’s no surprise then that some daring filmmakers have sought toThe Best Documentaries About Somalia bring to life the stories and experiences of ordinary Somalis who have lived through this tumultuous era.


Read On – Our Latest Top Documentaries Lists

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