Nairobi Half Life and Questions about Identity

Nairobi Half Life Mwas Arrives in Nairobi
Nairobi Half Life

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:

  1. 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?
  2. 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!


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2 thoughts on “Nairobi Half Life and Questions about Identity”

  1. I think its time Kenya’s film making moved beyond the traditional perceptions. To be competitive we need to bring the international feel so that others beyond Kenya’s borders can identify with. I haven’t seen the film but I hope it is a success. BTW how can one access it if abroad?

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