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Dirs. Maia Lekow, Christopher King
Kenya. 2019. 81 mins.
English, Swahili with English subtitles.
When Karisa receives a letter from relatives alerting him of accusations of witchcraft levelled against his grandmother, he rushes back home. And so this richly layered documentary unfolds, exposing tensions caused by a volatile mix of Christianity, consumerism, and misogyny. Young Kenyan men accuse their female elders of witchcraft to steal their land, begrudge them for their property because they are women. The Letter investigates the colonial triggers and the lingering structural injustices that give life to this unfortunate phenomenon.
This event is part of the “African Screen Worlds: Decolonising Film and Screen Studies” project, funded by the European Research Council (grant agreement number 819236), and the regular seminar series at the SOAS Centre for Creative Industries, Media and Screen Studies.
Our Online Watch Party took place on Wednesday 4 November 2020, catch up on our Q&A with directors of The Letter, Maia Lekow & Christopher King
Maia Lekow & Christopher King
Maia Lekow (Kenyan) and Chris King (Australian living in Kenya for 13 years) are an award winning, wife-and-husband film & music making team. Their feature-documentary debut, The Letter was filmed over 6 years at the coast of Kenya, premiered at IDFA 2019, and was supported by Sundance DFP, IDFA Bertha Fund, Hot Docs Blue Ice Fund and Docubox East African Documentary Fund.