Kenyan tale of undugu in the face of terror wins most coveted Oscar acclaim
A film inspired by the December 21, 2015 attack on a bus by Al-Shabaab militants that left two people dead may make history for Kenya if it wins an Oscar award at Sunday’s annual ceremony.
Dubbed ‘Watu Wote’, the film tells the story of Jua, a Christian Kenyan woman who boards a bus to visit a relative and is uncomfortable being surrounded by Muslim passengers.
The bus is stopped by members of the violent terrorist group Al Shabaab, whose demand that the Muslims on board identify the Christian passengers in their midst for execution.
Instead, the Muslim passengers protect the Christians and remain unwavering in their resolve even when the militia threatening to kill them all.
The 23-minute-long film is directed by Katja Benrath and Tobias Rosen and written by Brian Munene for graduation of the Hamburg Media School masters class program.
It has been nominated in the short film, live action category, alongside My Nephew Emmet by Kevin Wilson Junior and The silent Child by Rachel Shento and Chris Overton.
Others that have been recognised in the category include DeKalbv Elementary by Reed Van Dyk and Eleven O’Clock by John Lawson and Derin Seale.
The film’s cast includes Adelyne Wairimu as Jua, Faysal Ahmed as Hassan Yaqub Ali the Al-Shabaab Leader and Alex Khayo and Gerald Langiri who both act as GSU Officers.
“For almost a decade Kenya has been targeted by terrorist attacks of the Al Shabaab. Especially the border region between Kenya and Somalia is considered highly dangerous. An atmosphere of anxiety and mistrust between Muslims and Christians is growing. Until in December 2015, Muslim bus passengers showed that solidarity can prevail,” the film’s director Tobias Rosen is quoted as saying.
The film has received positive reviews with Rotten Tomatoes – one of the biggest review aggregation websites for film and television – giving it a 100 percent rating.
The movie was first recognised at the Students Oscars where it won last year.
Should the film win at the 90th Oscar Award ceremony, the award will stand tall next to other films that have brought praise to Kenya.
In 2014, Kenya shot to fame after Actress Lupita Nyong’o won an Oscar for the Best Supporting Actress in 12 Years a Slave.
Lupita has also been trending lately with the release of world acclaimed Black Panther movie where she gives an excellent performance.
Black Panther is already set to be one of the highest grossing movies of all time, with Forbes reporting that the movie grossed over Sh81 billion at the Box Office.