Softie (2020)

  • Documentary
  • 1h 36m

The affable and spirited Boniface Mwangi is running for political office in a local election in Kenya. As a longtime activist whose name is synonymous with integrity, he experiences the joys and pains of running a clean campaign amid boundless corruption. Mwangi’s childhood peers perceived him as weak, and he was given the nickname “Softie.” In fact, he is anything but. As the strong-willed candidate and father embarks on his mission to enact lasting change, his wife, Njeri, is supportive to a point. But when death threats cause Njeri and the children to flee to safety, their family life is further tested by physical distance. Softie grounds the trajectory of its inspirational subject by delving into his 2009 street exhibition featuring previously unpublished and striking photographs of the political violence suffocating his country. Through longitudinal access during the lead-up to the election and admittance to Softie’s life at home, this beautifully edited journey engages with what it means for a man of virtue to choose between fighting for country and for family. KR