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MOVIE REVIEWS : Weekend Entries in British Film Festival : Reviews of the American Film Institute's BritFest. : : SUNDAY : "THE KITCHEN TOTO"

February 11, 1988|SHEILA BENSON

Monicas, 2:00 and 7:45 p . m .

This wrenching story concerns a young Kikuyu boy sent to work for an English policeman's family in Kenya in the 1950s, the time of the African struggle for independence, and in particular, the increasingly bloody raids of those Kikuyu called Mau Mau. Splendidly acted, it is a fine first film by writer-director Harry Hook, who grew up in Kenya and works with an off-handed authenticity. As it sets every one of the period's passions and ironies before us, this unassuming, engrossing picture shares many of the sensibilities of "The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith," if not quite that great Australian film's tragic magnificence. RECOMMENDED.

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