Wednesday, June 15, 2011

20th European Film Festival in Kenya

I always look forward to the month of May for two things. One it happens to be the month I was born (I am a Taurus!) and two because of the European Film Festivals. The film screened by the organisers tend to show the historical past of Europe in this case WW II and how that has transformed the society there for the better or films that show what is currently plaguing the societies there i.e. immigration, racial integration, minorities etc
Festival Poster
This year did not disappoint. I had a chance of attending films from Finland (Mother of mine), Turkey (Summer Book), Germany (The International), France (The Round Up), Czech Republic (Grapes), Serbia (Motel Nana), Sweden (Balls) and  Poland (Love in the Year of the Tiger).

All this films had contexts which each of the countries participating in the festival (members of EU) wanted to show to the Nairobi (Kenyan) viewers about their home countries. It offered a chance for nationals of each of this E.U. countries living in Nairobi to interact between themselves and Kenyans.
As is expected the EU goes out to invites other non-EU member countries to participate in this festival i.e. Turkey which has been lobbying to join the community. Also, Russia has been participating in the form of a ‘crown of Russian ballet’ which marked its 5th year in this year.

However, a pleasant surprise package to this year’s film festival was an entry from Israel. The Israeli’s have been making incursions into Nairobi beginning with the first Israeli Film festival in 2010 which had some pretty good flicks.

Israeli nights in Nairobi
The Israeli invited a multi talented musician to woo the Nairobi base and sure he did because I have never seen/experienced a show like that which was done by Tal Kravitz.

This Israeli musician managed to tantalize us with his prowess to play instruments from all over the world and to boot he spoke in fluent Swahili! Where can you find this kind of concerts for free? Lucky we were to experience this though as you would expect I managed to pick a subtle political connotations.

Some of the instruments Kal played are Santour from Iran (yes Iran and he know their language!), Bag Pipes from Scotland (mind you he dressed to the occasion-The Scottish skirts!), Musical Saw from Russia (Yes a saw!) among a collection of other instruments which let us dumb folded in amazement.

The European Film Festival Programme

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