My Faith is a short inspirational film about James Siwa (Joe Kinyua) who faces a cocktail of hard obstacles in life that nearly push him to the edge as he struggles to keep his faith strong and steadfast in the wake of numerous temptations to call it quits – at one point he nearly does.
My Faith depicts a scenario many Christians go through as they seek the face of God in their challenges. Sometimes it reaches a point when it is no longer bearable. Joe Kinyua allows us a peek into the journey of James Siwa, a photographer who endures some tough tribulations as he attends to his beloved but sick and paralysed Faith Siwa (Veronica Waceke) while trying to earn a livelihood for the family and keep the bills paid. But the Landlady (Marriane Mungo) and Anne, Faith’s older sister (Alison Nyawira), give him no peace on earth.
James has developed an interesting culture of going up the roof very early in the morning every day to pray – a habit he has been engaged in for the last 2 years. We have to admit that was quite a peculiar concept from Bruce. Why on the roof you ask. We also do not know but it looked pretty cool – and maybe James figures he will be slightly closer to God this way. but after 2 years, he is ready to give up because ‘nothing’ has been happening until his wife Faith reminds him of how every morning when he comes down the roof, he is beaming with renewed vigour and strength to face yet another challenging day. This encourages James to do his aerial routine once more.
My Faith is a deeply emotional film that tempts you to want to shed a tear or 2. It powerfully drives home the message that when 2 are in agreement over anything, not even the most adverse of tribulations can shake their love and faith. This film carries a great lesson for those in marriage today. The scene where James and Faith are watching a soap on their dummy TV set is quite moving to say the least.
In only 24 minutes Bruce, with an able cast, manages quite successfully to guide the plot of the film to a dazzling climax that will have you in tears as you not only rejoice at the transforming power of prayer but also lament about the dark shadow of corruption that never seems to want to go away.
The music is so well synced with the different emotions portrayed in the scenes so that for once, here is a local production that manages to allow the emotions you have collected in the previous scene to be gracefully ushered into the next scene by the fading music – not just abruptly cutting it and leaving you hanging and wondering what just happened.
It is no wonder My Faith was nominated for best editing (Eric Muchara, great job). The choice of music with great sound effects is another powerful feature in this film you should look out for. You need a good home theatre system to appreciate this though. In a nutshell, this film is a must-watch – and we are not just saying this.
The camera works in My Faith, especially the angular shots, are an indicator of the level of maturity the Kenyan film industry has reached. Clearly, there was every effort made to provide variety in the camera angles which removes the monotony of having to watch a story develop from just one angle. The illuminated shots of James fading into the blackness of the background, in particular, were quite good. We are not surprised Edwin Thingo was nominated for Best Director of Photography.
We are pretty convinced My Faith could have bagged some Kalasha and RiverWood Academy awards had some things been done better. The voices of the actors in some scenes, for instance, are not consistent. The expression of emotions in some places was not convincing. We, for instance, expected James, as he crouches in a foetal position at the rooftop in one of his many agonising visits there, to let out an eerie cry or something like that as some sort of climax to that scene – that would have sealed the whole pain deal! but he does not – even the prayer moments do not quite depict the mood of a desperate man crying out to God as his last hope in life.
When James prays in tongues somewhere in the middle of the film, he does not actually sound very convincing either – it is almost as if he is afraid of doing so. In a situation like that, when life is pressing hard on you, one’s fear of expression sort of goes away. All in all, the storyline, acting, cinematography and music makes for good viewing. Good stuff this. Take a look at the trailer here.