Something Necessary: Director's Q&A

"What makes (Kibinge's) film so powerful is its emphasis that Anne's story, all stories, deserve to be heard." Indiewire

Something Necessary is a film about Anne, a woman struggling to rebuild her life. The civil unrest that swept Kenya following the 2007 elections claimed her husband's life and her son's health, and left her isolated farm in ruins.

Joseph, a troubled young gang member who participated in the countrywide violence, is drawn to Anne and her farm, seemingly in search of redemption. Both he and Anne need something that only the other can give in order to shed the painful memories of their past - but will either of them find it? In today's successful Kenya, buried violence could re-emerge. Something Necessary confronts it.

In this post-screening Q&A writer and curator Karen Alexander is joined by Judy Kibinge, the film's Director. Together they discuss why it was so important for Kibinge to get this story onto the screen, however difficult it was to process the real-life attrocities and work on the film so soon after the unrest. She also gives a background to the events that took place.

This film, under Kibinge's guiding hand, offers a balanced view of a traumatic situation by weaving the stories of both victim and perpetrator/colluder. It is non-judgemental, encouraging acceptance and amends, rather than offering a lecture.

In this discussion Kibinge also introduces Docubox, an East African documentary film fund she initiated to encourage young African filmmakers to tell their own stories, rather than borrow pictures taken by others. Read their manifesto here. In Kenya there are currently no cultural funds available from the government, but Kibinge believes these funds are vital and is working to build supportive cultural networks across East Africa.

"Culture is as important as infrastructure, as you build your highways and your telecommunication networks, you need to build a strong cultural foundation, even to just know who on earth you are." Judy Kibinge

Something Necessary, along with Tosh Gitonga’s Nairobi Half Life, is travelling to other UK cinemas in March 2014 on a tour initiated by Watershed and Afrika Eye. Both films came out of workshops run by Marie Steinmann & Tom Tykwer’s One Fine Day Films, in partnership with Nairobi based Ginger Ink. See this Screen Daily article for more information on the tour.

This event was presented as part of Afrika Eye Festival 2013, which is hosted by Watershed in partnership with Bristol City Council, Bristol Libraries, African Voices Forum, Awards for All, BCFM, Plantation Restaurant, Arts Council of England, Bristol Business News, WOMAD Foundation, and UWE's Faculty of Arts, Creative Industries and Education.

Related Links:
Trailer: Something Necessary
Zeba Blay on Something Neccessary for IndieWire
Afrika Eye


Posted on Sun 10 Nov 2013.