Battle Of The Sacred Tree

Director: Wanjiru Kinyanjui
Country:  Kenya and Germany
Year: 1995
Running Time: 80 min.
Language: English and Kikuyu


Traditional African beliefs come into conflict with missionary zeal in a Kikuyu village. There, life revolves around a sacred tree that exerts a strange power over everyone around it. Needless to say, Christian ladies see the tree only as a reminder of a pagan past. Standing against their plan to cut the tree down is Mumbi, daughter of an old-fashioned medicine man, who has returned from the city and an abusive husband. Her Polaroid snapshots of “the most dramatic occasion of the Feeling of the Sacred Tree” reunite the community in healing laughter.

About the Director

Wanjiru Kinyanjui

KINYANJUI_Wanjiru_2012_by_Goethe-NairobiBiography: Wanjiru Kinyanjui was born in Kenya in 1958. Before becoming a filmmaker, she was a writer, poet, and radio journalist. She obtained her master’s degree in English Literature and German in Berlin before enrolling in the German Film and Television School in Berlin. During her studies, she directed A Lover and Killer of Colour (1988), The Bird with the Broken Wing (1990), Black in the Western World (1992), and Clara Has Two Countries (1992). Since then, she has directed numerous fiction and documentary films.

– AFF, Inc.
Through African Eyes – Dialogues with the Directors, BONETTI Mahen and REDDY Prerana (Editors), 2003, African Film Festival, Inc. and Printinfo JV LLC, Yerevan, Armenia, p.94)

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
The Battle of the Sacred Tree (1996).

…If Joined by a Stranger […Wen nein Fremder dazu kommt] (1987);
The Reunion (1988);
A Lover and Killer of Colour (1988);
Karfunkel – Der Vogel mit dem gebrochenen Flügel (1990);
Clara Has Two Countries (1992);
Black in the Western World (1992);
Vitico, a Living Legend (1993);
The Battle of the Sacred Tree (1994);
Die Rechte der Kinder – Der aufgespürte Vater (1997);
Koi and Her Rights [Koi na Haki Zake] (1997);
Daudi’s Gift [Zawaki ya Daudi] (1997);
Die Rechte der Kinder – Anruf aus Afrika (1998);
African Children (1999);
And This Is Progress (2000);
Say No to Poverty (2001);
Member of the Jury (2001);
Manga in America (2007);
Bahati (2008);
Africa Is a Woman’s Name – Amai Rose: A Portrait of a Zimbabwean Woman (2009).