27 February 2013

Kenya: Filmmaker Roots for Peace

Filmmaker Patrick Mureithi, who was in the country to promote his documentary Kenya: Until Hope Is Found, said for Kenya to truly heal, there is need for trauma to be addressed.

"There is very little healing and this is reflected in the society by alcoholism, domestic abuse, suicides and homicides," Mureithi told Word Is. "If trauma is not addressed, there is repeated cycles of violence but there is hope which is different from denial (that there will be violence). We should acknowledge that it happened. There cannot be any social change without individual change."

The documentary, also available on YouTube, follows severely traumatised men and women in Kibera, Nairobi. He was in the area to talk and discuss with the youth on the importance of maintaining peace throughout and especially during the election period.

Mureithi started the project after the December 2007-08 post-election violence in Kenya which left more than 1,300 people dead and over 500,000 displaced. He released the 60-minute documentary and turned to hawkers to distribute it.

"My reasoning was that since they have the most efficient distribution system in Kenya, then they would be able to get the film into as many hands as possible," said Mureithi. "As I type, their vendors are selling the film country-wide for less than Sh80."

Mureithi is the Drury University Filmmaker in Residence in Springfield, Missouri, USA.

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