LUSALA

By Mugambi NTHIGA

THE FESTIVAL AGENCY (PARIS) - as FEST

Drama - Completed 2019

Lusala, a young man rescued from his abusive home, moves in with an affluent Nairobi family. When he comes of age, he is imposed upon to leave the nest and start out life on his own. First, he makes the most of his new life, until the demons from his past return, and he is forced to face them alone.

Festivals
& Awards

Rotterdam IFFR 2020
Bright future
Goteborg IFF 2020
Toronto Black Film Festival 2020
    • Year of production
    • 2019
    • Genres
    • Drama, Children's, Social issues
    • Countries
    • GERMANY, KENYA
    • Languages
    • ENGLISH, SWAHILI
    • Duration
    • 61 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Mugambi NTHIGA
    • Writer(s)
    • Silas MIAMI, Wanjeri GAKURU, Oprah OYUGI
    • Producer(s)
    • Guy WILSON, Marie STEINMANN-TYKWER, Tom TYKWER, Siobhain "ginger" WILSON, Sarika HEMI LAKHANI
    • Synopsis
    • Lusala (22) is a young man who lives and works in two very separate parts of Nairobi. He occupies his days working in a garage in lower-class Nairobi. Every evening, he joins the city’s working class masses making their journeys home, except he goes to the other Nairobi; upmarket neighbourhood, and the palatial home of his adoptive family. His uncle and aunt, Onesmus and Beatrice (late 40’s), adopted him twelve years ago from rural Kenya, and raised him together with their daughter Joma (17).
      When Lusala and Joma’s unabashed sibling affection raises concerns with Beatrice, she imposes on her husband to make Lusala move out and start life on his own. Onesmus relents, and despite his apparent anxieties, so does Lusala. With his uncle’s help, and
      with Joma’s moral support, Lusala moves into a flat closer to his garage workplace. As Lusala settles in, he attempts to fit in with his mechanic colleagues and shrug off his anxiety and dejection, but his troubles take a stronger hold of him.
      Days later, Lusala’s youngest sister Bakhita, who has been away in boarding school, runs away and unexpectedly shows up at his flat. When he takes her in and opts to return her to Onesmus and Beatrice’s house, she begs him to let her stay. He begrudgingly agrees, telling her she can hide out in his flat for a while. Word reaches Onesmus that Bakhita has returned to stay with Lusala, and he and the
      family approach Lusala at the garage to speak with him about it.
      The resulting confrontation reveals that Lusala’s mental state is fragile and in peril, and despite his family’s best intentions, one bigger, more ominous confrontation lies ahead.