The Letter

The Letter takes us deep into Kenya's Coast Province, to explore the region's growing problem of violence against elderly people. Accused and condemned as witches, more than twenty elderly people are being killed every month in these communities. But the witchcraft is being used as a cover-up for countless family disputes over land and resources.

As the economic development of the coastal region picks up pace thanks to new infrastructure projects and the the discovery of valuable oil and minerals, elderly landowners are coming under increasing pressure to sell their ancestral land. Those who refuse to sell, are often branded witches by their own relatives, and live in fear of violent attack. Caught amongst a climate of religious spiritual warfare, and growing consumerist greed, it is estimated that more than 20 elders are being killed every month. The Letter follows one family who is fighting to stay together and save their grandmother who is the next to be branded as a witch.

Kaladze, a young musician from the streets of Mombasa, deals with spreading accusations that his grandmother is a witch. Investigating the family dispute which threatens his grandmother's safety, Kaladze embarks on a journey around the coastal region to better understand this taboo subject, and trace the historical causes of the violence against elderly people. From the forest shrines of the Mijikenda, to the churches, mosques and government offices, can Kaladze pick up the pieces and reunite his family, before it's too late?

Status

In production

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