Film ID:
YFA 1897



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This is a film made by Audrey Lewis during her time working as a missionary and, "under great difficulty at a time in Kenya in the 1950s when the country was going through a time of change and pressure with the active Mau Mau terrorist movement."

Title - African Scenes by Audrey Lewis

The film opens with a celebration. People from the local community are dancing and playing music. A woman is crouching near a fire and is stirring a mixture over the flames. Many of those in attendance are wearing colourful clothing and costumes.

There is mixture of brief shots which follow including come animals, the filmmaker's husband with some of the local children, women carrying goods in baskets balanced on their heads, and a worker in a field.

In town, there is a local corner shop which can be seen. Some traffic passes by on the dirt roads. There are shots of the children, and locals pose for the camera. A man tries his hand at a bow and arrow before the filmmaker captures a variety of animals in the wild including lions.

At the missionary school, there are many huts, and children play on a seesaw. The filmmaker's husband then speaks with the town elders who are seated outside a hut situated in a small clearing. One of the men performs a traditional dance.

A boat goes on a journey down the river, and there is footage taken from the boat of the river and the sites which they pass. At the end, the boat comes to a large port. Here there are military ships, trade ships, and a few yachts in the harbour. There is also a funfair which is taking place. Crowds of people have turned out for the event, and it looks to be a combination of Indian and African cultures.

Following this are more local scenes including a small market stall on the corner of Salim Road. Following this is a shot of the Methodist church and the large group of people who have gathered for the religious service. The filmmaker's husband, a Methodist minister, exits the church and is followed by members of the congregation.

At the local school, the girls are in uniform. They perform a country-style dance. There are also shots of some of the arts and crafts they've produced.

Sign - Bahati Estate

There is a local housing estate which is made up of long, single story buildings. The children from the estate run past the camera, many rolling large tires. Some of the mothers stand near the front doors which their children.

In the nearby town, there are shots taken at a railway crossing. Traffic passes over the tracks, as well as pedestrians and people on bicycles.

Back near the church, the different ministers are gathered for the camera with their families. One of the ministers poses in front of religious artwork which is inside the church. There is a large congregation at the church, and after the services, they chat outside.

A boy rings a bell, and there is more footage of the celebration and dancing from earlier in the film. This is followed by more footage of the funfair, again from earlier in the film.

Sign - City House Electrical Installation Berkley Engineering Co. Ltd. Private Dig Mombasa

The filmmaker's husband is seated with some of the elders outside a hut. This is followed by footage of women and children at the local school. Here they participate in different activities including a sports day high jump competition.

Sign - Bahati Martyrs' Church Community Centre

The film closes with different activities and services offered by the community centre including education, medical care, and offering refreshments.