Not Yet Kenyan | Film Investigates Al Shabab & the Somali-Kenyan Divide


An Al Jazeera documentary takes an in-depth look at the grievances that Kenyan-Somalis have toward the Kenyan government and how Al Qaeda-affiliated group Al Shabaab is taking advantage of this to establish a foothold in the region.

Not Yet Kenyan, filmed just before the Westgate Mall attack in Nairobi, exposes how Al Shabaab militants and their sympathizers have carried out a series of attacks in North Eastern Kenya to test the resolve of Kenya’s security system before bringing their campaign of violence to the capital.

In the documentary, Al Jazeera correspondent Mohammed Adow travels to his hometown of Garissa in Kenya’s North East Province to investigate the escalating violence caused by serious insecurity in the region. Mohammed asserts that the horrific massacre at Nairobi’s Westgate mall, although shocking, was not surprising. Following Kenya’s invasion of Somalia in 2011 there have been more than 100 revenge attacks in the country by al Shabaab and its sympathizers.

The KDF operation in Somalia was named ‘Linda Nchi’- Kiswahili for protect the nation. But residents of this part of the country have not been protected, leaving them to suffer at the hands of both the militants and Kenyan security forces whenever attacks occurred.

Continue reading

Al Jazeera Documentaries to Investigate the French-African Connection


On Thursdays during August and September, Al Jazeera will screen three documentary series (The French-African Connection, Black France and Algeria: The Test of Power) that spotlight the complex and topical relationship between France and Africa.

In January 2013, France responded to Mali’s request for assistance by launching a military intervention in Mali to prevent the Al-Qaeda-affiliated groups from taking control of the country. Is France pursuing a neo-colonial policy? Is it continuing “Françafrique,” the term coined to define France’s relationships with its former African colonies in which it supported unpopular African politicians for the sake of its economic interests in the region?

In a recent visit to Dakar, French president Francois Hollande declared the end of the “Françafrique” era. But is that really the case?


The French-African Connection

The French-African Connection which premiered on Thursday, 8 August 2013,  is a gripping three-part series that tells the dark and dramatic history of France’s relationships with its former African colonies.

The French-African Connection is a brutal and nefarious tale of corruption; massacres; dictators supported and progressive leaders murdered; weapons-smuggling; cloak-and-dagger secret services; and spectacular military operations. The series includes interviews with former oil barons; investigating judges into corruption scandals; former French ambassadors to African states; former French secret services; African presidents; and Francois Mitterand’s son.

The second and third episodes will premiere on 15 and 22 August respectively.

Continue reading

‘His To Keep’ Trailer (new) by Amirah Tajdin


His To Keep is a short film by Kenyan filmmaker Amirah Tajdin (previously featured here) . It’s a film about a Kenyan man’s struggle to deal with painful memories of his, and others’ resistance efforts to colonialism. A phone call forces hurtful experiences to the fore and he realises that time does not necessarily heal all wounds. He remembers loved ones he lost and contemplates the meaning of such pain. His To Keep screened at the CinemAfrica Sweden festival.

Continue reading

Erick Msumanje | My Mother’s Songs


Language: Swahili with English subtitles.

My Mother’s Songs, is set in an African landscape that examines inter-generational trauma. The film depicts a collection of traumatic experiences through the eyes of several young women desperately trying to make sense of their existence. This theme is connected to Africa’s history of brutal colonialism, shattered dreams from independence, and chronic poverty. The second trailer is particularly harrowing as a child tells a story of a parent’s murderous rejection. Watch to the end.

Tanzanian writer and director Erick Msumanje was recently awarded the highly-competitive Princess Grace Award for filmmaking. Msumanje, positions his film making to “push the boundaries of cinematography, aesthetics, and storytelling.”


Recent work includes The Journey which examines violence, fear and racism from the perspective of a little boy in search of something that could potentially change himself and those around him and a short documentary film titled The Devil’s House, which is about a mysterious young man who takes a journey clouded in blurred memory, displacement, and trauma.

Join writer and director Erick Msumanje for the first screening of My Mother’s Songs, at Hampshire College which will serve as his Division III (senior thesis) premiere.

APRIL 6, 2013, 7:00 PM
Hampshire College (Jerome Liebling Center for Film, Photography, and Video)

Bill Brand Screening Room (room 120)

Football Rebels: Didier Drogba


Former Chelsea and Ivory Coast forward Didier Drogba is the focus of the first episode of Football Rebels, which premiered on Al Jazeera on Tuesday, 12 March 2013 at 22:30 GMT.

Presented and narrated by former Manchester United star Eric Cantona, Football Rebels is a five-part documentary on five football heroes whose social consciences led them to use their fame and influence to challenge unjust regimes, join opposition movements and lead the fight for democracy and human rights in their countries.

Continue reading

‘His To Keep’ by Amirah Tajdin


12 min

Language: Kikuyu, English subtitles

Director: Amirah Tajdin

His To Keep is a short film by Kenyan filmmaker Amirah Tajdin.

It’s a film about a Kenyan man’s struggle to deal with painful memories of his and others’ resistance efforts to colonialism. A phone call forces hurtful experiences to the fore and he realises that time does not necessarily heal all wounds. He remembers loved ones he lost and contemplates the meaning of such pain. His To Keep screened at the CinemAfrica Sweden festival.

Besides making short films, Tajdin draws, DJ’s, creates wall murals and sculptures. She enjoys making films about social misfits, exploring cliche’s and trying to re-present them to the world. 

In keeping with her penchant for telling stories of the disenfranchised, Tajdin’s talent is displayed yet again in another short story Ciné Kenya featured here. Flourescent Sin a story about a drag queen thats is experiencing terrible heartbreak.

The film witnesses the drag queen’s poetic pandemonium; both self and body are stuck in Nairobi railway station’s no man’s land. “I’m stuck between where I’m supposed to be and where I am” — both a lament on his/her body, and a literal comment on the act of waiting at a train station, and the self-reflection waiting induces. Amirah Tajdin deftly melds the now iconic familiarity of Nairobi station, with the odd-beauty of the drag queen, playing on the expected and unexpected.

Another short story with a PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder) theme related to colonial war is Tabatô. Which Ciné Kenya featured here.

Something Necessary: Story of Resilience and Redemption in Face of Unimaginable Cruelty


Something Necessary is an intimate moment in the life of Anne, a woman struggling to rebuild her life after the civil unrest that swept Kenya after the 2008 election. This is the latest production from the One Fine Day Films production company.

Previous successful projects include ‘Soul Boy‘ (2010) and Kenya’s first Academy Award (Oscars) entry ‘Nairobi Half-Life‘ (2012). We have featured ‘Nairobi Half-Life’ here. One Fine Day is headed by Marie Steinmann and Tom Tykwer (Cloud Atlas, Run Lola Run).

This film is available to watch for free today, the eve of Kenya’s elections, at MUBI.

Continue reading


Tabatô: A Returning Soldier and A Mysterious Suitcase.


13 min


Starring: Mutar Djebaté, Fatu Djebaté, Mamadu Baio

Director: João Viana

Language: Mandinka

This short film is showing at the 63rd Berlinale Festival.

After fighting in a colonial war, Mutar, an old man comes back to the village. He doesn’t speak to anyone. A shot is heard and right after that the old man falls down and we believe him dead.

He doesn’t speak, so the curious daughter Fatu,  wants to know what’s in his suitcase and opens it. Why is Mutar so terrified? What is he carrying in his suitcase? Even the wise women are unable to prevent her from opening the it. Shock turns into surprise but the drum beat goes on.

Tabatô is the name of the village in Guinea-Bissau.

‘Ni Sisi’ Must-See Drama About Peace in Kenya Released 22nd February


Ni Sisi is S.A.F.E.’s new movie, which will be released on the 22nd February and features all your favourite S.A.F.E. actors.

Ni Sisi portrays a typical Kenyan community: a harmonious muddle of tribes, intermarriages, and extended families. Friends who have lived and worked together all their lives, who place no stock in which tribe their neighbour comes from. Then one day rumours begin to spread and suddenly mistrust takes hold.

Continue reading