The Film Africa festival launched opened last night with a fantastic film directed by Tosh Gitonga, Nairobi Half Life. Beautifully put together – story, cast, cinematography, direction, production! The world-class quality of this film has surely set the bar for Kenyan film and no wonder it's a submission for Best Foreign Language Film at next year's Oscars.
I came across an article today where a couple of the cast members address critics who insist that the film is not Kenyan enough. It reminded me of a recent guest post I wrote for the Film Africa blog: "Portraying Africa: Questions about Identity, Design and Identity Design" where I explored the following questions:
- Should the design of a thing reflect where it originates? For example: if I'm designing a car and I happen to be in Kenya, does the outcome have to look and feel Kenyan?
- What constitutes African anyway? Is it to do with where something is made, who makes it, what it's about or something else altogether? Is a film about Russia, which has been made by an African, an African film?
Check it out – I would love to hear your take.
All the best to everybody involved with Nairobi Half Life and everybody else – go see it!
- The 2012 Film Africa Festival: Let's Talk about Sex!
- Screening Perception: Limiting Expectations for African Cinema
- Interview with Filmmaker Sagwa Chabeda of Serengeti Studio
Don't miss an installment – different ways to get your Afri-love delivered. You can also stay up to date by liking the Afri-love Facebook page or following Afri-love (@afrilove) on Twitter or on Google+.