Yesterday I went to Planet Media Prestige to watch the Kenyan movie Watatu. Watatu is a movie shot entirely in Mombasa and looks at the relationship between different communities and cultures. It also looks at radicalization and how the anger and despair that the youth have can be dealt with and what happens when this anger is not diffused.
The story is based on a family and their friends. The threesome that makes up “watatu” are Salim (played by Ali Mohamed Mlatso), a gentle married Muslim man, and his nephew Yusuf (Said Muhsin) a graduate who is angry because he cannot get a job and is becoming radicalized by the extremists and Jack (Benson Obiva), a policemen friend of Salim who grew up in Mombasa and has come back to be a community police officer. Although he grew up in Mombasa he is not from any of the “original” coastal communities and that makes Yusuf and his friends despise him.
The supporting cast of mothers, wives and sisters also makes the movie so believable. The movie starts by Yusuf’s sister telling us the story of what happened to her family. We see Yusuf who is mad because he can’t get a job and he has a degree. He has friends who have joined the radicalization movement and he is being pulled towards joining them. The amazing thing about the script is the interconnectedness of the three men’s lives. The first part of the movie is about what happened and the tragedy that unfolded. The second part incorporated audiences’ responses to the play as the movie is also played out as a stage performance to the community. The community is asked what could have been done differently and their solutions are incorporated to create a different end for the movie.
This movie is a must-watch. I would recommend that officials in the government should watch this movie. This is the kind of movie that should be played in schools. Leave alone set books that sometimes do not represent current issues they should also introduce movies. This movie should be watched and discussed.
I recommend that you watch this movie. Watch it at Prestige Plaza. During the weekend I think it is playing at 430 and 700 pm. Check out the Safe Facebook page to find out the timings.