harrowing new documentary on Malawi is clearly designed to
draw attention to the poverty-stricken nation's plight
and help to its people. But the superstar doesn't
think much about enlisting aid from the U.S.
''I don't know
what our government does, period, instead of getting us in
more debt and blowing up countries,'' she told the audience
at the Tribeca Film Festival after premiering the film
I Am Because We Are on Thursday night. The
packed audience included close friend Rosie O'Donnell
and Natalie Portman.
and narrated the film on Malawi after she traveled
there, where she met the toddler David Banda, whom she took
home and is in the process of adopting.
The film shows
the abject poverty that children face, how the AIDS crisis
is claiming lives, the deplorable conditions that cause
disease, and other hindrances to Malawian life.
However, the film urges people to volunteer and tries
to offer hope.
After the film,
Madonna and director Nathan Rissman took questions from
the audience -- one of which was from a filmgoer who
wondered what the federal government could do. Madonna
replied that change should come from the people, not
''It's our own
job to change that, and I think it's a fool's errand to
rely on the government to change things.''
Madonna was also
asked about the difficulty in adopting children from
Malawi. Her adoption of David with her husband, Guy Ritchie,
has yet to be approved, though the boy has been living
with the family since the fall of 2006.
''It's a new
concept, the concept of adoption; consequently, it's very,
very time-consuming,'' she said. ''I guess, if you really
want to do it, you have to be willing to walk through
Madonna said she
is looking for a distribution deal so the film can be
seen in more theaters, and hopes to get it on DVD soon:
''Fingers crossed, that will be happening soon.''
I Am Because We Are is not Madonna's only
project these days. Her new album, Hard Candy,
is to be released in stores on Tuesday. (AP)