Thursday, March 10, 2016

For Kibera!

Kati Juurus | Finland 2015 | Documentary | 56 min
PC: Yleisradio Oy. P: Erkko Lyytinen. D+SC: Kati Juurus. Cinematography: Jouni Soikkeli, Abdallah Musa. S: Anssi Tamminen. ED: Antti Isoaho. M: Jimi Tenor
Tampere Film Festival (TFF), National Competition 7
10 March 2016, 22.00, Plevna 2, in English with English subtitles by Minna Franssila

TFF introduction: "Boy Dallas lives in Kibera, a famous slum in Nairobi, Kenya with hundreds of thousands of inhabitants, making it the second largest in Africa. Here, Dallas works as a radio personality and is known as “the voice of Kibera.” He’s inundated with stories of injustice, and Dallas increasingly starts to wonder why it is that he’s so poor. “A human life is cheap in Kibera. We are born, we survive and we die. We are just slum people.” Kibera is a “celebrity slum” where more than 200 NGOs [non-governmental organizations] are active and many famous people have paid a visit. Nevertheless, rape and murder are business as usual, the streets are filthy and there are no sewers. The little river where Dallas played as a child has dried up and is full of trash. What use are the new apartment buildings (with parking spaces!) to the residents of Kibera? As a self-taught cameraman, Dallas sets out to find out why a neighborhood that has received so much help for so long is still in such a terrible state. He talks to ambassadors and donors and sees just how different their world is from his. With his handheld camera, he reveals the harsh reality of living in Kibera."

AA: A strong documentary feature on Kibera, the "celebrity slum" of Nairobi, Kanya, as seen through the eyes of a bright local champion called Boy Dallas. "I used to be interested in music only. Then I became a journalist, the voice of Kibera". We start from immediate observations of the lifestyle which may seem exotic and colourful to a foreigner. Kenya has been receiving huge sums of development aid for decades, also from Finland since 30 years, but nothing has changed, and the people of Kibera have seen nothing of it while there are expensive housing projects realized in the neighbourhood. We start to understand how structural corruption works. Big sums of money from well-meaning helpers go to the pockets of the elite in many different ways. The journey to the reality behind the exotic facade does not end here. We see views of violence, murder, and rape. People who are desperate and without a future are able to do anything.

This film is very impressive both in its wealth of concrete observations and in the big perspective it provides.

Visually, it combines footage of raw handheld quality with professionally lit and photographed footage whenever possible.

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