Something necessary without the glitz, glamour

Friday February 1 2013

By Margaretta wa Gacheru

The Nairobi premiere of the One Fine Day-Ginger Ink film Something Necessary may not have come with the glitz and glamour many would have expected but it brought the numbers: More than enough to fill the cinema for its first screening.

The red carpet was all ready, never mind that the film began 15 minutes late, but still there was something missing: Was it the interviewer, who was supposed to stop guests as they walked in, welcome them and ask them to say something of their expectation of the film? Was it the absence of bites or a bit of background information on the film?

Perhaps it was the lack of co-ordination with the media — major TV stations were not at hand to enhance the buzz and assure the public they were about to see one of the finest films made by Kenyans in collaboration with international filmmakers.

The movie deserved better media attention and an experienced event organiser.

A movie can have a fantastic storyline, good cinematography but at the end of the day the public needs to know about it first. That is what premieres are meant to do: over-the-top publicity events that catch the attention of all and sundry.

On that note, the makers of Something Necessary fell flat. When the number of people who get to watch the movie does not match their expectations, will they really wonder why?

There was a call at around 7.30pm for the crowd to move to the theatre as the film was about to begin. It was only after nearly every seat in the cinema was filled that the film’s co-producers, Ginger Wilson of Ginger Ink and Sarika Hemi Lakhani of One Fine Day Film welcomed everyone and went on to introduce the film’s director Judy Kibinge, who did look glamorous and gracious and well aware that Something Necessary was going to be the “must see” movie of the coming year.

After the film was screened, the producers finally introduced the cast and crew, but as we were still seated in a darkened cinema, it didn’t have much impact.

What did have impact was the film itself. Everyone I spoke to was either speechless or stunned by the film’s emotional impact.

Few had expected to find Something Necessary such a profoundly moving experience. Many found it powerful and poignant.

Its treatment of Kenya’s post- election violence at such a personal level serves as a potent reminder that people’s actions have unintended consequences. What’s required now is for Kenyans to appreciate the message implicit in the film: to “forgive but never forget.”