Lusala (2019)

  • Drama
  • 1h 2m

Lusala (22) is a young man who lives and works in two very separate parts of Nairobi. He occupies his days working in a garage in lower-class Nairobi. Every evening, he joins the city’s working-class masses making their journeys home, except he goes to the other Nairobi; upmarket neighborhood, and the palatial home of his adoptive family.

His uncle and aunt, Onesmus and Beatrice (late ‘40s), adopted him twelve years ago from rural Kenya and raised him together with their daughter Joma (17). When Lusala and Joma’s unabashed sibling affection raises concerns with Beatrice, she imposes on her husband to make Lusala move out and start life on his own. Onesmus relents, and despite his apparent anxieties, so does Lusala. With his uncle’s help, and with Joma’s moral support, Lusala moves into a flat closer to his garage workplace.

As Lusala settles in, he attempts to fit in with his mechanic colleagues and shrug off his anxiety and dejection, but his troubles take a stronger hold of him. Days later, Lusala’s youngest sister Bakhita, who has been away in boarding school, runs away and unexpectedly shows up at his flat. When he takes her in and opts to return her to Onesmus and Beatrice’s house, she begs him to let her stay. He begrudgingly agrees, telling her she can hide out in his flat for a while.

Word reaches Onesmus that Bakhita has returned to stay with Lusala, and he and the family approach Lusala at the garage to speak with him about it. The resulting confrontation reveals that Lusala’s mental state is fragile and in peril, and despite his family’s best intentions, one bigger, more ominous confrontation lies ahead.

Director

Mugambi Nthiga

Writer

Silas Miami

Writer

Oprah Oyugi

Executive Producer

Tom Tykwer

Producer

Ginger Wilson

Co-Producer

Guy Wilson

Music

Rushab Nadha

Cinematography

Christian Almesberger

Cinematography

Emma Nzioka

Casting

Jenny Muigai

Production Designer

Kevin Amwoma

Production Designer

Naia Barrenechea

Production Designer

Natasha Khanyola

Languages

English, Swahili