Kenya, 1950. Mwangi (Mahinda) takes the job of kitchen toto or scullion in the household of police chief John Graham (Peck) after the murder of his pacifist clergyman father by Mau Mau revolutionaries. Events in the build-up to the slaughter that was to follow are presented only as they touch Mwangi, who fast becomes an embarrassment to both sides. Soon the boy is forced to take a rebel oath, swearing to take the head of a white man if required to do so, but he is already growing fond of Graham and his supremely cloying son (Pirie). The outcome of this division of loyalties is depressing, inevitable and unremarkable. All the performances are effective, particularly Peck and Mahinda - who carries the weight of the whole conflict upon his shoulders. Hook's low-key approach packs a surprisingly hard punch. He is clearly a talent to watch.
Cast and crew