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Eastleigh filmmakers give Hollywood portrayal thumbs down


Eastleigh, the suburb in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, known as Little Mogadishu because it is home to many Somalis and Kenyan-Somalis, is getting the Hollywood treatment.
Big-budget thriller Eye in the Sky, which had its premiere this week in Los Angeles, uses the suburb as one of its key plot locations.
The film follows the story of US and UK military forces trying to foil a suicide attack by using drones.
But in the real Eastleigh, a group of local filmmakers who were given a special preview of the film say they are disappointed at how the area has been portrayed.
The group, who refer to themselves as collectively as Eastleigh Wood, say the film is full of negative stereotypes of the area, which has been targeted by the government during raids against alleged al-Shabab militants.
However, filmmaker Burhan Iman told me he was disappointed that the Kenyan scenes in the film were actually shot in South Africa.
He said the reason they started "Eastleigh Wood" was so they could tell their own stories.
However, Mr Iman did admit he was happy at the casting of Barkhad Abdi, the actor who was nominated for an Oscar in his first-ever screen role as a Somali pirate in Captain Phillips.
He said the actor was born in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, and raised in Eastleigh before moving to Minnesota in the US.
Source: BBC Worldwide

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