Top 5 Kenyan films that you must absolutely watch before the end of 2015

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veve-film

VEVE (2014)

Veve follows the lives of multiple characters trying to find themselves in a world of political intrigue, revenge, love and longings for success complemented by the background of the thriving yet unregulated veve business. Amos, an ambitious politician, is running for another term as Maua MP whilst facing his opponent Wadu in the extension of his veve empire. His wife Esther discovers the true nature of his affairs and seeks solace in Kenzo, a conflicted young man out to seek vengeance for his father’s death. Sammy, Amos’ right hand man, has to choose between being loyal to his work and being a caring father to his 12-year-old son Kago. Maua’s Veve Farmers want to farm a union to force Amos to pay decent prices for their veve. Clint, a hedonistic wannabe documentary filmmaker meddles to far, blind of the dangers he is putting himself and others into. All are in search of purpose not knowing, that their destinies are entwined in more ways than they imagine.

Genre: Drama
Directed By: Simon Mukali
Written By: Natasha Likimani
Runtime:

Nairobi-Half-Life

NAIROBI HALF LIFE (2012)

A young man, Mwas (Joseph Wairimu) still lives with his parents in their rural home in Kenya. He makes a living by selling western action films, he dramatically acts and portrays most of the action figures in his films in order to entice his customers. He is an aspiring actor, and when he comes across a group of actors from Nairobi performing in his town, he asks one of them to help him jump start his acting career. But, in return, he is asked to give ksh1000  in order for him to be cast in one of the plays. He can only afford ksh500 and is told to take the other 500 with him to the National theatre in Nairobi. He is very excited, and, after receiving some money from his mother, he embarks on his journey to Nairobi with a brief stop over in his town to bade his friends goodbye. He meets his cousin (a gang leader) who gives Mwas an expensive radio system and some money to take to Khanji electronic shop in downtown Nairobi.

After making his way to Nairobi, he quickly learns that there is more to Nairobi than just opportunities and glamour. On the first day, Mwas loses everything he has to Nairobi thugs and is left stranded and confused especially because he knows no one. He gets arrested and even spends a day in jail. In a twist of events, he meets a Nairobi crook Oti (Olwenya Maina) who becomes a close friend and takes him into his criminal gang. The gang itself specializes in snatch and grab thievery with vehicle parts being their main targets. During this time, Mwas auditions and successfully lands a part in a local play set up by Phoenix Players. He finds himself struggling and juggling the two separate worlds. Mwas finally meets his cousin again who ends up forcing him to steal a car in order to clear his debt. He convinces the gang to move up from stealing parts to stealing cars in order to earn more. During that time, he falls in love with Oti’s onscreen love interest Amina, coming to see her at the lodgings at which she receives customers and even taking her out to the films.

Genre: Drama
Directed By: David Tosh Gitonga
Written By: Serah Mwihaki, Charles “Potash” Matathia, Samuel Munene; Supervising Script Writer: Billy Kahora
Runtime:
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InMyGenes

IN MY GENES (2009)

This is my favorite Kenyan Movie of all time and funny enough its the film that Oscar award winner Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong’o debuted his producing career with, The main theme is focused on people living with Albinism and goes like this…How does one live as a pale person in a dominantly black society? What does one feel being one of the most visible persons and, probably, one of the most ignored? Agnes, an albino woman in Kenya, feels it daily. Ever since she was born, she has had to deal with the prejudices that surround albinos. In My Genes bears witness to the lives of eight people who suffer discrimination due to a simple genetic anomaly.

Genre: Drama, Documentary film
Directed By: Lupita Nyong’o
Written By: Lupita Nyong’o
Runtime:

Soul_Boy

SOUL BOY (2010)

Fourteen-year-old Abila (Samson Odhiambo) learns that his foolish father has gambled away his soul, which is now in possession of the witch Nyawawa (Krysteen Savane). Abila confronts the sorceress, who is impressed by the boy’s courage. She promises to return the soul if Abila can complete seven arduous tasks in 24 hours. Along with his girlfriend Shiku (Leila Dayan Opou), Abila races throughout the neighborhoods of Nairobi, Kenya, hoping to cure his father as the clock ticks down.

Genre: Drama, Documentary film
Directed By: Hawa Essuman, Tom Tykwer
Written By: Billy Kahora
Runtime:

 

first grader

THE FIRST GRADER (2010)

In a small, remote mountain top primary school in the Kenyan bush, hundreds of children are jostling for a chance for the free education newly promised by the Kenyan government. One new applicant causes astonishment when he knocks on the door of the school.  He is Maruge (Oliver Litondo), an old Mau Mau veteran in his eighties, who is desperate to learn to read at this late stage of his life.  He fought for the liberation of his country and now feels he must have the chance of an education so long denied – even if it means sitting in a classroom alongside six-year-olds.

Moved by his passionate plea, head teacher Jane Obinchu (Naomie Harris), supports his struggle to gain admission and together they face fierce opposition from parents and officials who don’t want to waste a precious school place on such an old man.

Full of vitality and humour, the film explores the remarkable relationships Maruge builds with his classmates some eighty years his junior. Through Maruge’s journey, we are taken back to the shocking untold story of British colonial rule 50 years earlier where Maruge fought for the freedom of his country, eventually ending up in the extreme and harsh conditions of the British detention camps.

Genre: Drama, Biography
Directed By: Justin Chadwick
Written By: Ann Peacock
Runtime: