A Lover & Killer of Colour

A young Black woman played by Alida Babel walks through Berlin on her own. It is midnight, her heels click against the steps leading down to the U-Bahn, the train has just left, the empty platform becomes a space of anxiety. Twelve minutes to wait, the voiceover spoken by the director herself complains: “This impatience!”
Wanjiru Kinyanjui made A Lover & Killer of Colour (1988) during her studies at the DFFB. This short film miniature revolves around the experience of sexist and racist harassment – and the anger which emerges in response. What can be done with all the aggression that finds no release during such humiliating moments? The film watches as rage is translated into artistic work. The night scenes alternate with footage from the young woman’s studio; she is a painter, and she writes. While she is typing, the voiceover says: “If you do not stop / insulting me / you leeches / I will kill you / in this poem.” Wanjiru Kinyanjui’s directness rejects the sort of sublimation that may have kept the anger contained – even as the wish for reconciliation remains: “Through words, my trust is repaired / on white paper”.
by Wanjiru Kinyanjui
with Alida Babel
Federal Republic of Germany 1988 English 10’ Colour


  • Alida Babel


Director Wanjiru Kinyanjui
Screenplay Wanjiru Kinyanjui
Cinematography Wanjiru Kinyanjui
Editing Wanjiru Kinyanjui
Sound Gruscha Rode, Jürgen Schönhoff

Produced by

Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin (DFFB)

https://www.dffb.de https://www.dffb.de

Wanjiru Kinyanjui

Born in 1958 in Nairobi, Kenya, Wanjiru Kinyanjui studied German and English literature before studying directing. She is an author, screenwriter and director and teaches film production at Kenyatta University.


1987 ...wenn ein Fremder dazu kommt...; co-directed by Yvonne Gaerber, 18 min. · ...wenn ein Fremder dazu kommt...; co-directed by Yvonne Gaerber, 18 min. 1988 A Lover and Killer of Colour; 9 min. · A Lover & Killer of Colour; 10 min. 1991 African Time; 22 min. 1992 Black in the Western World; 23 min. 1993 Vitico, eine lebende Legende; 15 min. 1995 Der Kampf um den heiligen Baum (The Battle of the Sacred Tree); 82 min. 1997 Zawadi ya Daudi; 83 min. 2007 Bahati; 40 min. · Manga in America; 57 min. 2009 Africa Is A Woman’s Name; 30 min.

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2023