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Judy Kibinge’s daring yet elegant film is an uplifting parable about atonement, set against the deadly violence that followed the 2007 elections in Kenya.
When Anne (Susan Wanjiru) wakes from
a coma in a hospital bed, she finds her husband
dead and buried, and her son, Kitur
(Benjamin Nyagaka), also in a coma. Her
family is one of thousands victimized by
the violence that erupted after the 2007
elections in Kenya. Now an unemployed
widow, Anne is nonetheless determined
to repair The Haven, her ransacked farm,
in spite of her family's insistence that she
move to a "safer" area.
Burdened with guilt and shame from his
past gang activities, young Joseph (Walter
Kipchumba Lagat) is eager to start a new
chapter in his life and dissociate himself
from the thugs who dragged him into the
violence. As the government's Commission
of Inquiry comes to their town, collecting
witnesses' accounts of the violence, neither
Anne nor Joseph feel compelled to contribute.
Judy Kibinge's second feature is a daring
foray into Kenya's legacy of trauma
and brutality. Eschewing the stereotypes
of the victim-perpetrator standoff with
refreshing naturalism, she revisits this
blood-drenched chapter by addressing its
true complexity, using her characters to
foreground that which has been repeatedly
elided in the media coverage, namely dignity,
compassion, and fearlessness.
Directed with grace, elegantly filmed, and
brimming with convincing performances,
Something Necessary is an uplifting parable
about the need for forgiveness, atonement
and solidarity against the sinister schemes
engineered by politicians. This is a remarkable
collective achievement from a new,
energizing production initiative in Kenya.
- Judy Kibinge
- Judy Kibinge was born in Nairobi and
studied at Manchester Polytechnic.
She is the founder of DOCUBOX,
a documentary film fund for East
Africa. She has directed the features
Dangerous Affair (02), Project Daddy
(04), and Something Necessary (13).