Kati Kati is a 2016 Kenyan drama film directed by Mbithi Masya. Kati Kati is a co-production of One Fine Day Filmsand Ginger Ink. At the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival, Kati Kati won the Prize of the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) for the Discovery programme. It was selected as the Kenyan entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 90th Academy Awards, but it was not nominated.
Without any recollection of what happened before, young Kaleche finds herself in the middle of the wilderness. She makes her way to Kati Kati, a nearby lodge, where she meets a motley crew of residents under the leadership of Thoma. They inform her that she is dead and won’t be able to leave Kati Kati. She quickly assimilates into the group and together they enjoy Kati Kati’s luxurious distractions. Kaleche soon realizes that afterlife is not only fun and games, every member of the group seems to still carry a burden from their previous life. Mikey, a recent graduate and basketball enthusiast with a history of self-harm, is struggling with leaving his mother behind. When he is finally capable of letting her go, Mikey transitions out of his existence at the lodge. Kaleche becomes curious about the now apparent possibility of transition. She questions the reclusive painter King, formerly a priest who died in a post election violence revenge attack. Kaleche learns about a strange condition which renders the lodges residents flesh cold, white and lifeless.
When Kaleche reveals to Toma that her skin has begun to whiten, Thoma confronts King, blaming him for Kaleche’scondition and revealing that King was killed in a revenge attack because he let his own parishioners burn to death outside his church. Later that night, Kaleche finds King, outside his cottage, burning his possessions, his skin white from head to toe and his eyes blackened.To Kaleche’s horror and surprise, King walks straight out into the darkened nowhere, no longer bound by Kati Kati.
Since Kaleche’s arrival, affections between her and Thoma had been growing daily, but when both share an intimate moment it comes to an abrupt end. During a group session, Grace reveals to Kaleche that Thoma has known all along who she is, as they were married in their previous lives. Kaleche confronts Thoma who reveals that his drinking led to a fatal car crash. The rest of the residents are taken back by Thoma’s revelation and believe that he has been holding all of them back. Dragged through the place by the angry mob, Thoma begins to settle with his fate, believing that he is beyond redemption. Kaleche breaks through the mob, and embraces Thoma. An unspoken act of forgiveness allows Thoma to find peace and transition.