• Lusala
Genre : Drama
Type : Fiction
Original title :
Principal country concerned : Column : Cinema/tv
Year of production : 2020
Format : Feature
Running time : 62 (in minutes)

Horrific memories from his past haunt Lusala. He fled his violent father in the countryside at a young age. Although this event keeps stalking him, his wealthy adoptive family in the metropolis of Nairobi thinks it's high time he worked on his future. He's almost a man, so he is given a job as a car mechanic, with his own apartment above the garage. Lusala is motivated to make the best of things, but the demons from his past cannot be exorcised.

Lusala (22) is a young man who lives and works in two very separate parts of Nairobi. He occupies his days working in a garage in lower-class Nairobi. Every evening, he joins the city's working-class masses making their journeys home, except he goes to the other Nairobi; upmarket neighborhood, and the palatial home of his adoptive family.
His uncle and aunt, Onesmus and Beatrice (late ‘40s), adopted him twelve years ago from rural Kenya and raised him together with their daughter Joma (17). When Lusala and Joma's unabashed sibling affection raises concerns with Beatrice, she imposes on her husband to make Lusala move out and start life on his own. Onesmus relents, and despite his apparent anxieties, so does Lusala. With his uncle's help, and with Joma's moral support, Lusala moves into a flat closer to his garage workplace.
As Lusala settles in, he attempts to fit in with his mechanic colleagues and shrug off his anxiety and dejection, but his troubles take a stronger hold of him. Days later, Lusala's youngest sister Bakhita, who has been away in boarding school, runs away and unexpectedly shows up at his flat. When he takes her in and opts to return her to Onesmus and Beatrice's house, she begs him to let her stay. He begrudgingly agrees, telling her she can hide out in his flat for a while.
Word reaches Onesmus that Bakhita has returned to stay with Lusala, and he and the family approach Lusala at the garage to speak with him about it. The resulting confrontation reveals that Lusala's mental state is fragile and in peril, and despite his family's best intentions, one bigger, more ominous confrontation lies ahead.

A film by Mugambi NTHIGA

Kenya / Germany - 2020 - Feature narrative - 1h02m - Drama

starring Brian Ogola, Stycie Waweru, Alan Oyugi, Alyce Wangari, Mkamzee Chao Mwatela, Gitura Kamau, Abu Majid

English, Swahili

Executive Producer
Tom Tykwer

Sarika Hemi Lakhani
Ginger Wilson

Marie Steinmann-Tykwer
Guy Wilson

Mugambi Nthiga

Wanjeri Gakuru
Silas Miami
Oprah Oyugi

Mbogua Mbugua Mbugua
Rushab Nadha
Eric Wainaina

Christian Almesberger
Emma Nzioka

Christian Krämer
Kevin Wang'ombe

Jenny Muigai

Production Designers
Kevin Amwoma
Naia Barrenechea
Natasha Khanyola

Brian Ogola, Stycie Waweru, Alan Oyugi, Alyce Wangari, Mkamzee Chao Mwatela, Gitura Kamau, Abu Majid

2020 | 41st Durban International Film Festival, Virtual Edition, South Africa | 10-20 sept 2020
* Official Selection



Der junge Lusala wächst bei seinem gewalttätigen Vater auf dem Land auf. Nachdem er es schafft zu fliehen, wird Lusala von einer wohlhabenden Familie in der Metropole Nairobi adoptiert. Die Erinnerungen an die schrecklichen Kindheitserlebnisse verfolgen den Jungen jedoch immer wieder. Als er älter wird, muss Lusala sein behütetes Heim allerdings verlassen. Seine Zieheltern beschließen, dass er auf eigenen Beinen stehen soll. Sie besorgen ihm einen Job als Automechaniker und eine kleine, eigene Wohnung über der Garage. Zunächst ist Lusala motiviert, das Beste aus der neuen Situation zu machen, aber die Dämonen der Vergangenheit lassen sich nicht so einfach austreiben.

LUSALA ist eine Mischung aus intimem Familiendrama und Psychothriller und das Debüt des kenianischen Schauspielers und Drehbuchautors Mugambi Nthiga, das sich mit der Urbanisierung und den Traumata des Landes Kenia befasst.


  • Arterial network
  • Media, Sports and Entertainment Group (MSE)
  • Gens de la Caraïbe
  • Groupe 30 Afrique
  • Alliance Française VANUATU
  • Zimbabwe : Culture Fund Of Zimbabwe Trust
  • RDC : Groupe TACCEMS
  • Rwanda : Positive Production
  • Togo : Kadam Kadam
  • Niger : ONG Culture Art Humanité
  • Collectif 2004 Images
  • Africultures Burkina-Faso
  • Bénincultures / Editions Plurielles
  • Africiné
  • Afrilivres

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