44th edition 21 January - 1 February 2015

It's UsBF-2014 
Ni sisi

Convincing proof that an educational, political film made in Africa (Kenya) can also be good fun. Even comical. A nonchalant mix of film and theatre, inspired by the election riots of 2007: on mistrust in a fragile community. Nominated for The Big Screen Award.

Until the 2007 elections, Kenya was seen as a beacon of stability in a troubled region. But when the presidential candidates incited their followers with accusations of election fraud, tribal tensions proved to simmer below the surface here too. More than 1,200 Kenyans lost their lives in the violence that erupted.
To send out a message of national unity and peace, the theatre group SAFE produced the play It’s Us immediately following the bloodshed. After several years touring the country, it has now been filmed. It’s Us does more than point the finger at those stirring up tribal unrest. The film also poses questions on the individual responsibility of those who became involved.
It’s Us paints a portrait of a typical Kenyan community. Ethnic background is not really important; Luo, Kikuyu, Kalenjin and Luhya live side by side - until a local politician hopes to win the elections by spreading rumours. Suspicion and distrust grow and things start to escalate.

  It's Us Pathé 7 Sun 26 Jan 15:30  
  It's Us Pathé 2 Mon 27 Jan 09:15  
  It's Us Pathé 1 Thu 30 Jan 13:00  
  It's Us LantarenVenster 5 Sat 01 Feb 13:45  
Colorful movie (no pun intended) and an interesting format, a bit confusing at first but it becomes clear later on while getting used to the basic idea. This film is not directed to us outside Kenya, but is targeted at local people there. It may very well succeed in driving the message home thanks to the format. We see a frame story (play in a play), jumping between these alternate forms. In addition we have a visualised bad dream (we learn in hindsight that it was indeed a bad dream and not reality), the latter effectively working as a wake-up call, serving very well to start a counter reaction in time. The frame story mixes conclusions spoken on a sort of stage (with audience), alternating with things happening in houses or on the street (with us as the only audience). The message at the end is positive, making clear how racial and tribal disagreements start very easily, but can be turned around when people speak out in time, preventing the rumors from escalating before it is too late. In other words, this film is intentional propaganda in the positive meaning of the word. The constant humor that is added to liven up the story, holds our attention all along. I don't think there is a better format for this to get the message across.
Webreview from JvH48 on Mon 27 January 11:35
Kenya 2013
DirectorNick Reding
ProducerKrysteen Savane
SalesThe Festival Agency
Print sourceThe Festival Agency
ScenarioNick Reding
CastJospeh Babu Wairimu
 Mercy Wanjiru
 Edna Daisy
PhotographyJoan Poggio
EditorCarole Gikandi Omondi
Sound designAlex Njuguna
Film formatDCP
2014 Bright Future European premiere

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