Nairobi Half Life
This dynamic gangland drama -- Kenya's Oscar entry -- balances gritty realism with refreshing levity.
The old story of a country bumpkin's rude awakening upon arrival in the big city is shot through with fresh social and stylistic energy in Nairobi Half Life, a dynamic crime drama set in parts of Kenya's capital that visitors should avoid. This first film by young former assistant director David Tosh Gitonga features a slick sheen not commonly associated with African films and which might be partially explained by the involvement of supervising director Tom Tykwer and his One Fine Day Film Workshop, which sponsors one African film a year. With its sympathetic lead and ultra-accessible dramatic line of a young man trying to overcome great odds to achieve a better life, Kenya's submission to the foreign-language Academy Awards competition stands a fair shot at establishing a commercial foothold in some Western markets.
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