The Letter


    • Christopher King, Maia Lekow
    • Kenya
    • 2019
    • 84 min
    • World Premiere
    • Frontlight

    When Karisa’s grandmother is accused of witchcraft, he travels from Mombasa to her rural home to find out who’s behind it. It turns out that the threatening letter his grandmother received came from a member of his own family.

    Karisa’s conversations with his relatives reveal how his uncles are accusing grandma while his aunts are trying to protect her, and how the accusations result from a combination of superstition and economic motives. Grandma is not the only one being targeted—hundreds of elders are being branded as witches as a means to steal their land.

    As the film progresses, we gain a deeper understanding of how this rural community’s values have been disrupted by colonialism and religion. We also witness Karisa’s love for his grandmother and her fearless spirit, the understated power of women, and the resilience of family despite the growing threat of greed.


    • 84 min
    • color
    • DCP
    • Spoken languages: Swahili, English
    • Subtitles in: English
    Christopher King, Maia Lekow
    Maia Lekow / Circle and Square Productions, Christopher King for Circle and Square Productions
    Executive producer
    Judy Kibinge, Peter Mudamba, Cynthia Kane
    Christopher King
    Ricardo Acosta C.C.E., Christopher King

    IDFA history

    World Premiere
    Supported with €17500 for Classic: Production & postproduction

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    IDFA history

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