The past weighs heavier for some than for others. For Anne, this Kenyan woman, a victim of political and racial violence, it is heavier than conceivable. Nor is the past that light for that Kenyan man, even though he was the culprit. They must hate each other. The story decides otherwise.
Election violence based on ethnicity is a recurrent phenomenon in Kenya, but the destruction in 2007 was unparalleled. Youth gangs egged on by politicians roamed the country for three months, plundering, raping and murdering. Some 1200 people were killed. Over 300,000 Kenyans fled. The International Court of Justice in The Hague is still investigating suspects.
Anne is one of the victims: her husband dead, son in a coma, farm destroyed and she herself ended up in a hospital bed. For the sake of her child, she wants to build up her life again, whatever the cost. She meets Joseph, who was on the side of the culprits during the riots. He is burdened by guilt, but is still under the control of the gang he was a member of. Both look for a way out.Something Necessary
tells the true story. The film primarily shows how complex things are when it's not about the statistics of a conflict but the people behind the numbers.
Kenya, 2013, feature, 1hr25, Drama
Director: Judy Kibinge
Scenario: Mungai Kiroga, JC Niala
Photography: Adeyinka Edward Daniyan
Editor: Justin Kariuki Wachira
Production design: Carol Gaciku Wahome
Sound design: Lucas Seeberger
Music : Matthias Petsche
Film format: DCPProgrammer Note by Gertjan Zuilhof (IFFR 2013)
The socio-political background of Something Necessary is a pretty complex true story. It is hard for people who have never been to Kenya, or Africa for that matter, to understand how explosive and corrupt a country can be. I'll provide two innocent examples. When I was in Nairobi for the IFFR 2010 project, Forget Africa, I read in the local paper - and these newspapers are highly censored - that local politicians were complaining to the American government that the new visas were making it difficult to go to New York every weekend. What were they going there so often? Shopping. I had to read the piece three times before that really dawned on me, but then again I was in a city with the largest slums in Africa.
Second example. In the slums, all it takes to gather a huge crowd is some insignificant event. When Indonesian filmmaker Edwin pulled out his tiny tripod and set his mini camera atop of it for our project, we had a crowd of 100 within a minute. Totally innocent, but imagine if someone were to get upset about politicians jetting off to New York and mobilised their neighbourhood; you'd have an uncontrollable mob in no time. This is what happened during the Kenyan crisis of 2007-2008, when an extremely violent riot developed after the elections had been tampered with. Terrible things took place (murders and rapes), as the film reveals, and perhaps my examples are all too innocent. All I wanted to indicate was that it doesn't take much to get things started.
Dogged narrator Judy Kabinge's film shows the wounds and scars after the eruption. Healing takes a lot longer than destroying.
Principal Cast: Susan Wanjiru, Walter Kipchumba Lagat, David Koprotich Mutai, Anne Kimani
Runtime: 85 minutes
Screenplay: Mungai Kiroga, JC Niala
Cinematographer: Yinka Edward
Editor: Justin Wachira
Sound: Lucas Seeberger
Music: Matthias Petsche
Prod. Designer: Naia Barrenechea
Producer: Ginger Wilson (Ginger Ink Films), Sarika Hemi Lakhani, Tom Tykwer, Siobhain (One Fine Day Films)
Production Co.: GINGER INK Films, One Fine Day Films
Sales : VOD-consulting
Distributor NL: Hubert Bals Fund
Print source: One Fine Day Films
Tags: Human Rights | Drama | War | Female Director | Afrocentric
2013 | 38th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF 2013)
* Selection - Contemporary World Cinema
* North American Premiere
* Screening: Thursday September 5 / Scotiabank 13 / 9:15 PM
* Screening: Friday September 6 / TIFF Bell Lightbox 4 / 3:30 PM
* Screening: Sunday September 15 / Scotiabank 9 / 7:15 PM
2013 | 42nd IFFR - Festival International du Fllm de Rotterdam
* Selection - Spectrum* World premiere
* Screening: Cinerama 6 - Mon 28 Jan - 19:15
* Screening: LantarenVenster 1 - Tue 29 Jan - 09:00
* Screening: Cinerama 7 - Wed 30 Jan - 15:00
* Screening: Pathé 6 - Sat 02 Feb - 18:15