Produced by Tom Tykwer, the debut feature from Mbithi Masya signals the arrival of an urgent and accomplished new voice from sub-Saharan Africa. Kati Kati is genuinely remarkable; a fantasy film, a poetic parable and a political allegory.
When first we see her, Kaleche (Nyokabi Gethaiga) is somewhat dazed and totally lacking any sense of memory. She is welcomed to a hunting lodge, and is promptly informed that she has died. With her wants satisfied-all she and her fellow "guests" need do is write down what they desire for these things to appear the next morning-things are decidedly comfortable. But it is when she meets Thoma (Elsaphan Njora), a man committed to helping others remember their pasts, that their situation starts to seem like the purgatory it is-and salvation will come only to those who acknowledge the past and their roles in it.
Masya is a musician, and his musical background certainly informs Kati Kati's fluid mise en scène. His treatment of the political undertones of the film-Kenya's violent past is never far from the surface-is neither heavy-handed nor shrill, making this small gem one to remember.
Winner: FIPRESCI Discovery Prize, Toronto
|Running Time:||75 minutes|
|Awards:||FIPRESCI Discovery Prize, TIFF|
|Producers:||Sarika Hemi Lakhani, Katja Lebedjewa|
|Principal Cast:||Nyokabi Gethaiga, Elsaphan Njora, Paul Ogola|
|Editor:||Christian Krämer, Louizah Wanjiku|
|Music:||Sean Peevers, Ibrahim Sidede, Just a Band|
|Screenwriter:||Mbithi Masya, Mugambi Nthiga|
|International Sales Company:||The Festival Agency|
guests in attendance
Mbithi Masya – Director (January 6 only)