With the production of quality documentaries as well as movies in Kenya, what can be said in terms of the film industry is that we’re definitely heading in the right direction. Quite recently we’ve seen the huge success of ‘Nairobi Half Life’ a production inspired by the streets of Nairobi. Now I’m happy to say that there’s another production that is set to take over the airwaves in an equally huge way.
Something Necessary directed by Judy Kibinge is an 85-minute film whose main inspiration lies behind the civil unrest that swept Kenya after the 2007 elections. The movie begins with a few clips showing the dreaded PEV violence but before you think it’s a sob story that contains some chilling material from the horrific events, there is a sudden twist. This is a story that follows the lives of two main characters, Anne (Susan Wanjiru) and Joseph (Walter Lang’at) who are trying to rebuild their lives after the psychological effects they were hopelessly left with.
Anne wakes up in hospital from a coma to find that the life she had before the violence no longer exists. Her husband is dead and has been buried before she had a chance to mourn him. Her son Kitur is in a coma and The Haven, her farm and home, located on an isolated farm in the Kenyan countryside, has been vandalized and ransacked by rowdy youths (part of whom include Joseph). She has gone from being a nurse, wife and mother to an unemployed widow with a hospitalized son struggling to rebuild her farm. Despite of discouragement from her sister Gathoni (Ann Kimani) and brother-in-law Lesit (David Mutai)-whose sinister motive is to inherit the property all for himself- she stubbornly moves in the badly shambled house, vowing to restore it to its former glory. She also has to contend with the terrible memories that the house evokes as well as the fear of moving on with her life without her husband by her side.
Joseph on the other hand is a young man, and an ex gang member troubled by his past participation in the countrywide violence and in search of redemption. His guilt trip leads him to the doorstep of Anne and here the story is born. Both, Joseph and Anne, need something that only the other can give to allow them to shed the painful memories of their past and move on.
SOMETHING NECESSARY is the story of how individuals affected by the politically instigated post election violence in Kenya in 2007/2008 have been forced to live with the consequences of events and how the repercussions of violence last – long after the peace treaties have been signed. The film though, does not aspire to tell the story of an entire country, but it instead examines a fragment from a much larger mosaic. It also comes in at the perfect time, just when the country is about to pick its next leader, and we should definitely not forget the effects that were the aftermath of the last elections. A strong message is delivered for all those who will care to pay attention.
Judy and her production team manage to bring out each character’s story without interfering with the whole plot. There are captivating moments in the film that will keep you on the edge of the seat as well as a few tear-jerking moments that will make the experience more memorable. The actors beautifully bring the story to life and I couldn’t agree of a more interesting set. The film took about 4 years to develop and this shows just how much work was put into the movie. It officially premieres on the 24th of January 2013 so save the date for this lovely Kenyan production.
For more info on what’s showing please log onto www.flix.co.ke
Here is a short trailer to the movie: