Kati Kati - The Critical Consensus So Far
We're happy. Kati Kati is enjoying a delightful run, screening at festivals worldwide and winning a series of awards, including the FIPRESCI Prize at TIFF 2016, Best East African Film at the AMVCA Awards, Best Film at Sweden's Cinemafrica Film Festival, New Voices/New Voices Special Mention and most recently, the Emerging Filmmaker Award at the MSPIFF Festival.
Courtesy of Co-writer and Director Mbithi Masya, here's a collation of a number of reviewers' thoughts on the film.
"Falling within cinema’s under-utilized vein of magical realism, the film offers a layered meditation on the intersection of life, death, fate, and introspection, and how humans’ ability to move beyond guilt ultimately depends on arranging the pieces of their lives into honest reflections on themselves... Masya’s allegorically and visually rich piece is no less than remarkable for a debut director." - ECU Film Festival
“Whatever reference points can be found in Masya’s work, the work itself still feels like an original, vibrant and exciting statement from a talented filmmaker who clearly has much more to say." - The Playlist
"Most of cinema’s best films are those that do rather than explain. These works are created by artists wielding airtight concepts insofar as attaining their goal of delivering a specific, emotion-fueled message. Kenyan creative Mbithi Masya‘s feature debut Kati Kati is a perfect example of what can be made when the right resources are supplied to the right people. "- The Film Stage (Spoilers Included)
"Masya is a force with which to be reckoned, as the film works well as a sci-fi film, as a story of the past and as a relationship drama. It just works. Musical and lyrical, the film is a discovery of the highest order and will hopefully receive theatrical distribution or it would be an absolute shame." - Scene Creek
"Kati Kati does not provide many answers, but they are not needed. It is the questions that the film raises about the nature of death, and what happens to our souls, that makes the film such a wonderful experience." - Cinema Axis
(Google Translate) "The film is accurate and stimulates curiosity leveraging the rules of suspense. It has a clear plot in less than 80 minutes of indulgence sends a message and sweet redemption, light but effective. And the handful of actors, ritrovatosi acting on a slightly larger set of a theater stage, deserves credit for helping to create a simple feature with ambitions indie ."- Mase Domani (Italian)
"A genuinely surprising film from an unexpected source, Kati Kati is a film that draws on tradition (Nollywood, Senegalese counter-cinema, faith-based films) without falling into the stylistic or genre traps of any of those approaches. The plot is basic enough, but inventive in its execution."- Cinema Scope
"An offbeat drama set somewhere in the afterlife. Winner of the FIPRESCI international film critics’ award this year at the Toronto International Film Festival, Kati Kati is well-suited to festival play and could eventually garner further attention on VOD."- The Hollywood Reporter