The debut feature from Mbithi Masya Kati Kati is a look at the afterlife with the same sort of refreshing grace that Albert Brooks approached the same ground in Defending Your Life. Masya’s fim has a more dramatic point of view than Brooks’ comedy classic.
The film opens as Kaleche (Nyokabi Gethaiga) awakes in a field. She has no memory of her past and what brought her to this field. Soon finds her way to Kati Kati and quickly learns that she is dead. Kaleche’s and the rest of the inhabitants of Kati Kati’s journey in the afterlife is the crux of the story. Masya is able to create an afterlife that though foreign is a world we being to understand. The director manages to build a world unfettered by someone explaining everything, which is a common mistake in these types of films that Kati Kati completely side steps.
The film is not some Lost-style mystery of what is Kati Kati. We find out early that this is neither heaven nor hell but a purgatory-type place. Masya is more interested in finding a truth in grief and making amends for what you have done. Placing this story in the afterlife, the writer director allows a distance that the subjects he tackles. If that distance wasn’t there, the film would have pushed into maudlin territory. There is a quiet power in the stories of these people and the follies that had befallen them in their living lives.
The films 78 minute ru ...