Themes in Kenyan cinema: Seasons and reasons
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This is a study of thematic dimensions taken by feature films produced in Kenya from 1963 to 2013. The rather expansive 50-year period is characterised by varied historical, economic, social and technological changes in the country. These variations have had an impact on the nature and growth of the film industry in one way or another. One such way, is the kind of subject matter addressed by the films. The main objective of the paper therefore is to ascertain the impact of the environment of production on the nature of the narratives emanating from the Kenyan feature film in the first 50 years of independence. This study purposively selects feature film genre for two main reasons; it tends to define a film industry more accurately than the other genres and it is relatively shorter than TV drama series, which, given its longer and steadier presence in the country, could have been the ideal way of understanding the social concerns on Kenyan screens. Text analysis and interviews with film-makers form the larger sources of primary data for this study. Secondary data, based on literature and films of relevance were also consulted.