The Kitchen Toto (1987)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Childhood Drama, Political Drama  |   Release Date - May 13, 1988 (USA)  |   Run Time - 96 min.  |   Countries - Kenya, UK  |   MPAA Rating - PG13
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In the vernacular of Kenyan whites of the 1950s, a "kitchen toto" was a native black servant. One such "toto" is 12-year-old Mwangi (Edwin Mahinda). The son of a black clergyman who has been slain by Mau Mau for his moderate beliefs, Mwangi is taken into the household of British police-chief Bob Peck. Torn between two cultures, Mwangi finds himself in a position to rescue his white protectors from insurgent Mau Maus, who are pressing for Kenyan independence-just as the boy's father had. The "no easy answers" climax is one that can't be revealed here. Kitchen Toto was the first directorial effort of Harry Hook, a Kenyan native and British National Film and Television School grad who was just about Mwangi's age when the events depicted in this film occurred.

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coming-of-age, jungle, political-unrest, servant, murder, kitchen