Updated: Aug 8
Film can be used to reach a wide audience, to inform and inspire change through engaging audiences and reflecting society. Social film drama unites people in a common sense of humanity and shared responsibility, which gives it added power to help foster positive change.
Official Bangarang Trailer Courtesy: LeQwood Productions
Such films should be consumed far and wide, in volatile seasons like the elections period in African countries.
Bangarang indeed proves its worth in this course. The film that first premiered in 2021, seeks to reflect the dangers of political instigated violence during elections in Kenya. Well written and directed by Odongo Robbie, the great film has received numerous awards, including the most recent, at the Durban International Film Festival for Best African Feature Film.
The Durban International Film Festival is a prestigious South African international film festival that is Now celebrating its landmark 43rd year, as a unique phenomenon on the African cultural calendar.
As Kenya is heading to elections, Bangarang relives the story of the death of baby Pendo, in the hands of the police, that really shook the nation. It is inspired by true life events of the aftermath of 2017 general elections.
Otile, a poor boda boda rider is jobless ten years after graduating with a second-class honours degree in automotive engineering. When election violence erupts after disputed Kenyan presidential elections, Otile leads other rioters in the streets of Kisumu. To him this is the only opportunity he can vent his anger against the government’s bad leadership, which he blames for his joblessness.
One of those days as he is on the streets, anti-riot police give chase, and Otile finds himself in Dan’s house. The police trace him there and beat everyone in the house including Dan’s six-month-old child, Baby Joy, who dies. Otile goes into exile, afraid of being falsely implicated by the police for Baby Joys death.
The Kenyan media should be focusing on promoting such films to sensitize people that an election is only an event.