Everyone is a human being. Whether you come from a big community or a small community, we are all the same. And if we unite, we have no idea what we can accomplish.”
In 2007, the violently disputed general election in Kenya divided people along tribal lines, and for the first time, many urban Kenyans had to identify their tribe. Almost 10 years later, Kenya approaches another general election, which many fear could be more tribally polarizing than ever before. Working with two primary schools in Nairobi and Mombasa, filmmakers Wanuri Kahiu and Nick Reding intimately explore issues surrounding national identity. Using games and interviews the filmmakers ask 8-11 year olds what they understand about discrimination, tribe and religion, and how, when they are discriminated themselves, do they feel about their own identity.
Inspired by Jane Elliot’s “Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes” experiment, the film delicately picks at the religious and tribal tensions that exist in Kenya, by creating an exercise in which the class is arbitrarily divided into groups. The children narrate the experiences and talk about the lessons they learn as they themselves experience the anger, frustration and powerlessness of prejudice.
Through the eyes and guided by the wisdom of children, “Who Am I?” gives an enlightened voice to the tribal and religious fissures that are growing in Kenyan society, providing a voice of wisdom and compassion, allwith the inherent child’s understanding of fairness.
Subjects: African Cinema, African Studies
Institutional Licensing Options
DVD with PPR: $349
DVD with Digital Site License: $449
DVD with Digital Site License + Public Performance Rights: $499
ORIGINAL TITLE: Who am I?
DURATION: 30 min
ORIGINAL LANGUAGE: Swahili with English subtitles
DIRECTOR: Wanuri Kahiu and Nick Reding
WRITER: Wanuri Kahiu and Nick Reding
DIRECTED BY WANURI KAHIU & NICK REDING
PRODUCED BY NICK REDING & ANGELIQUE PITTELOUD GAKOKO
TEACHERS – ROGERS OTIENO, JOHN WASONGA
TEACHING ASSISTANTS – GODFREY OJIAMBO, PAUL PETER KADES,
MOHAMED SAID RASHID & RAMA CHONGONGWE
CINEMATOGRAPHY BY JOAN POGGIO
EDITED BY CAROLE GIKANDI OMONDE
PRODUCTION MANAGER – KRYSTEEN SAVANE
SOUND RECORDIST – DAVID KABASH KINYANJUI
POST PRODUCTION SOUND – DENNIS MUSYOKA
SOUND ASSISTANTS – ANDREW MUKABI, VICTOR AMIMO, DENNIS MURATHE
PRODUCTION ASSISTANT – CAROLINE MUCHIRI
SECOND CAMERA – LAWRENCE KIMANI
INSPIRED BY JANE ELLIOTT’S ‘BLUE EYES, BROWN EYES’ EXPERIMENT
OAK FOUNDATION & SAFARICOM
STELLY ACADEMY – NAIROBI
ST KEVIN’S HILL ACADEMY – MOMBASA