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A Small Act at Fort Jesus

A Small Act at Fort Jesus

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Local people passing the entrance to the Old Law Courts near Fort Jesus last Sunday would have been surprised to see the large white screen suspended over the entrance together with rows of chairs. Under the auspices of the Friends of Fort Jesus, the occasion was the screening of A Small Act, a documentary film about a young African boy who as a result of the financial support of an anonymous donor became a successful anti-racist lawyer working for the United Nations. He sets out to find his benefactor and in the process reveals her origins as a Jewish holocaust survivor who had settled in Sweden after the second World War, although her parents were not allowed to settle with her.

Film still from A Small Act.

Their emotional meeting brought tears to many in the audience as this frail 80-year-old is embraced by the young African lawyer, and later at the reception where she was received in the village by the Kikuyu members and her induction as an Elder. On the way, we met many of the young scholars unable to continue with their education because of lack of funds, and the trust discussing to whom they would give the 10 scholarships based on the students marks but also on their determination to be educated.

Filmmaker Jennifer Arnold, an Alumni of UCLA and the University of Nairobi, and Brittany Ballard, manager of Film Forward, are to be congratulated on this powerful and moving film about an important African issue.