By Liisa Cohen
“Softie”, a film by Sam Soko is a perfectly paced, gut wrenching account of Boniface Mwangi as we follow this photojournalist turned political activist turned MP candidate on his personal journey.
Boniface “Softie” Mwangi has long fought injustices in his country as a political activist. Now he’s taking the next step by running for office in a regional Kenyan election. From the moment Boniface decides to run, telling his wife, Njeri, in passing with a hesitant laugh, he responds to each challenge with optimism. But running a clean campaign against corrupt opponents becomes increasingly harder to combat with idealism alone. And Boniface soon finds that challenging strong political dynasties is putting his family at risk. Should country really come before family, as he’s always believed?
Living with him we are there as he navigates this often deadly path to political righteousness. Fighting for Human Rights, and the integrity, heart and soul of a very tribally divided Kenya, this beautifully filmed, raw and real story often found me holding my breath, waiting for the fate of Boniface to fall victim to the retaliatory violence that often occurs. From the opening frame “Softie”captivated me and stoked my inner desire to fight for what is right. This is tremendously powerful storytelling at its best.
“Softie”,was the first film from Kenya ever to premiere at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and won a World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Editing. It is now screening at virtual cinemas across America.