The Letter

A 94 year-old Grandmother with a fearless spirit must overcome dangerous accusations of witchcraft that are coming from within her own family.

DOKfest Munich (2020)

IDFA (2019)

SA Premiere

Availability &
Screening Time:

400 tickets
Mon 24 Aug / 6pm + Q&A @ 7.30pm


Maia Lekow & Christopher King





Running Time:

81 min


English | Swahili

When Karisa’s grandmother is accused of witchcraft, he travels from Mombasa to her rural home to find out who’s behind the threatening accusations. It turns out that the letter came from a member of his own family. As he embarks on conversations with his relatives, he learns that his uncles are accusing his grandmother while his aunts are trying to protect her, and that the accusations are the result of a combination of superstition and economic motives. But it is not only Karisa’s grandmother who is being targeted – hundreds of elders in the region are being branded as witches as a means of stealing their land. As events progress, this carefully considered film shows how this rural community’s values have been disrupted by the twin forces of colonialism and religion.

Co-presented with DIFF, and supported by the Heinrich Böll Foundation.
You can find the recording of our Q&A with the directors on our YouTube channel, or embedded below.