Home General ‘Subira’ made into a full film

‘Subira’ made into a full film

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By HILLARY KIMUYU
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Subira was first screened as a short film in 2008 and was a tremendous success in Europe, after being screened in Brussels as part of an African film festival.

It won 15 international awards and now Kenyans will get to see the feature of the film, which has been made to a full-length movie.

Raised in an orthodox Muslim community in the remote island of Lamu, her tyrannical mother wants Subira to follow tradition; learn household chores and aim to be a good wife just like the rest and forget to live out her unique dream of swimming in the ocean. Does she have the courage to take her dream on, against all odds?

Sippy Chadha, the director of the film, says Subira’s story comes from a place of deep personal experience.

She recalls that while growing up as a girl, in a traditional family in India, her entire life was laid out in front of her.

“I must behave a certain way, look a certain way, marry into a certain family, have children – in that order. There wasn’t any significance given to my unique sense of self; girls must obey to be considered good.

“The ultimate goal of a woman was to aspire to keep a good home. Yet, I felt a murmuring in my heart that said, I was meant for greater things.”

Sippy started her career with such award winning short films as Kibera Kid (2007), Charcoal Traffic (2008), Tick Tock (2009) and Subira (2008) which she wrote, directed and produced.

Sippy was taken to a boarding school in Britain at the age of five until she graduated from Class 10.

“As I came of age, I started to get offers of marriage, as is our custom. This was my deepest fear. I saw marriage as a trap. I had seen many of my cousins go through marriage, giving up their dreams and becoming totally domesticated. When it was my turn to get married, I did go through an arranged marriage and came to Kenya in a matter of weeks.”

But Sippy only took the decision to make film after turning 40 and feeling empty.

In 2004, while working at Mutual Trust as a financial adviser, she packed all the client files in a suitcase, drove over to her boss and asked if she would like to take over her clients.

“My husband was surprised by my actions but I love him because he lets me be me. I can say in my deepest fears I found my largest freedom. Filming Subira has been my dream; having the whole world see my point of view.”

The film is a Kenyan-Danish production releasing in Nairobi on November 15 and stars Brenda Wairimu, Tirath, Nice Githinji, and Melvin Alusa.

“My work as a filmmaker is to expand consciousness such that we may break through our own limitations and live from a sense of aliveness.”



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