“THE SKY OVER KIBERA is an art film: it tells us about the ‘bringing to life’ of the Divine Comedy in the immense slum of Nairobi, Kibera, where the director has worked with 150 children and adolescents, reinventing Dante’s masterpiece in English and Swahili. And he does so with his poetic and visionary style, interweaving other images with the filming of the play, sequences shot specifically in the slum to carry out the alchemical operation of transforming theatre into cinema. Three teenagers from Nairobi offer face and voice to Dante, Virgil, and Beatrice: they are the guides that lead the viewer into the labyrinth of Kibera, where the ‘dark forest’ in which the poet is lost is more than just a metaphor: in Swahili, Kibera means ‘forest.’ Around them a chorus swarming with bodies recites the tumult of being both beasts and damned, thieves and murderers, devils and corrupt politicians and poets who indicate the ways of salvation: between songs and acting, frenetic races and wild dances, the 150 protagonists give life to a fresco full of moving poetry, further confirmation of the universality of Dante’s masterpiece.” [. . .] —Teatro Delle Albe
View the trailer here.
Image credit Andrea Signori
Contributed by Silvia Valisa (Florida State University)