So anyway, Sunday, 12th, the day of the premiere. I reach the venue, Kenya National Theatres and what is this I see? Only about two other people are wearing formal. AND I'M ONE OF THE TWO! ALMOST EVERYONE IS WEARING CASUAL!!! To make matters worse, I see Cajetan and he's wearing casual! Cajetan, ushindwe!:-)
Fast forward to about an hour later. I'm sitting in the darkened theatre watching Benta. My formal outfit (including my short skirt which is riding dangerously up my thighs) is forgotten. Everything is forgotten. Because this movie Benta is the best Kenyan movie I have watched so far!
So why am I mentioning a non-rock themed movie like Benta on a rock film blog? Yes, Benta doesn't have a rock theme but it touches on some of the same things that we Kenyan rock fans are struggling with. There is the class issue. Benta is a househelp working for an upper class family. Rock in Kenya is considered 'upper class' music. There is the problem of cliche's. Benta is hardworking, intelligent and perceptive. But her employers consider her to be just a stereotypical househelp. Kenyan rock fans are stereotyped as 'trying to be white'. Or being 'devil worshippers'. Which brings me to the other issue that Benta touches on. The hypocrisy of the church. It's Benta's church-going employers who treat her like a non-human being. It is the church that is most critical of ALL rock music, whether Christian or not.
Enough said. It doesn't matter whether you like rock or not. If you like good quality, entertaining movies that don't preach at you but still manage to put their point across about the social ills plaguing this great country of ours, Kenya, then Benta is the movie to watch.
18TH and 19TH AUGUST: