Award winning film “SOFTIE” that follows the life of Kenyan photographer and political activist Boniface Mwangi, his wife Njeri and their kids, will premiere in Kenya, starting Tomorrow 16th October 2020.
The film that won Best Documentary award at the Durban international film festival will screen in Eldoret (Rupa Cinema), Mombasa (Nyali Cinemax), Kisumu (Mega Cinema) and at Prestige Cinema, Anga Diamond Plaza, Motion Cinema and Westgate Cinema, in Nairobi.
The film tells the tale of how Boniface, nicknamed “Softie” in his childhood years, has long fought injustices in Kenya.
While he is seen as daring and audacious, and recognized as Kenya’s most provocative photojournalist, these qualities create tremendous turmoil between him and his wife Njeri Mwangi whose loyalty to her family is hard as a rock. It’s a story of perseverance and love, evoking mixed emotions while exploring the themes of family, sacrifice and patriotism.
“It unveils the curtain of the struggles of activists; my personal struggles as a father. It’s brutally honest. You will see tears. I have watched it two times and cried both times because it’s vicerial and heartbreaking to see what kind of country we have. It reveals our true colours as a nation and the role of money and ethnicity in politics.” Mwangi says
‘Softie’ chronicles a 7 year journey beginning with chaos filled street protests and culminating in Boniface’s decision to run for a political seat in his old neighbourhood Starehe. He soon finds that challenging strong political dynasties is putting his family at risk. His wife, Njeri, has long been silent in the background. The decision to run put her and the family on the spot.
The film premiered at Sundance in January 2020, winning a special jury prize for editing. It has been greatly reviewed, citing its conscientious story telling of Kenya’s struggle with political tribalism. It has since played at a couple of prestigious festivals including CPH:DOX, FullFrame and even won Best Film at the Encounters International Documentary Festival and Best Documentary at the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) 2020.
For Njeri Mwangi, having their private family life on screen has been a difficult and rewarding experience. She says, “This film is not just a single story but the story of what women and mothers and wives like myself give to the cause of what they too believe in but whose contribution is not counted as significant or acknowledged as prominently as their partners. It has given me a voice and hopefully a chance for women to see themselves and count their contributions to the betterment of not only their families but also their communities and country,” adding, “To all the women out there, this film is for you and your families. We too matter!”