Kenya has chosen Mvera, a drama directed by Daudi Anguka, to represent country in the 96th Academy Awards for Best International Feature Film.
Taking place in a small town near Mombasa, Mvera longs to leave her homeland in order to find employment and lift her family out of poverty. Mvera aspires to travel the same path as her mother, who emigrated to the United States fifteen years ago. Mvera's grandmother advises her to stay behind in order to complete her studies at the University of Nairobi, pursue a career as a doctor, and exercise patience in her search for a dream job, but Mvera is set on her path.
The astute millionaire Thabiti annually sponsors twelve young men and women and sends them to various foreign nations so they can obtain important work experience. Mvera submitted an application for this chance. When the selected few arrive at Thabiti's estate, they quickly learn that their flight to another country won't be for another week. The reason for this is the visa application. As soon as they get settled in Thabiti's home, something seems strange. One by one, they are taken from their rooms in the middle of the night and never allowed to return. They also receive medical examinations, are imprisoned in their rooms, and have their phones seized. Mvera is about to learn something startling.
The majority of people in our society suffer so that a select minority might prosper. Mvera is looking for a better opportunity and a better life. Thousands of individuals are driven to embrace any proposal that even partly appeals to them out of desperation and the every man for himself mentality. And Thabiti feeds on this hopelessness, attacking those who have nothing. Thabiti's extreme greed and need for more wealth has gotten out of control to the point of harm. His traumatic history has created a negative force that has harmed both individuals and society as a whole.
Mekatilili, the story of Kenya's liberation fighter, served as the inspiration for this movie. In the early 1900s, she led the Mijikenda group, the Giriama people, in their rebellion against Kenya's colonial government as an independence activist. Her opposition to the colonial authority was driven by social-cultural and economic concerns. Mvera, like Mekatilili, will become an inspiration to others by standing up to those in authority and those who have caused so much devastation to her coastal village.
Mvera has transformed from a shy child who is uncertain of her future into a role model for her generation. She is the ideal superhero in a world when so many people are in need of a small amount of optimism.
Critic: I don't think I need to defend my assessment of this movie other than to encourage everyone to watch it whenever and wherever they can. I'm eagerly awaiting its streaming availability so I can watch it again and introduce some friends to it. But let me say something in general regarding its starring lady.