OCTOBER 1: Revisiting the tortured foundations of a nation in Kunle Afolayan’s layered totem of neo-Nollywood

Nigerian Cinema has come a long way in the last decade. It has seen blossoming global exposure thanks to streaming, improved aesthetics and a growing sense that it could nail the three pillars of the business of film. The only thing missing is the prestige associated with some of the iconic forbearers of African cinema.Continue reading “OCTOBER 1: Revisiting the tortured foundations of a nation in Kunle Afolayan’s layered totem of neo-Nollywood”

BAMAKO puts the World Bank and IMF on trial as the soul of Africa withers on the margins

There are some uber aggressive didactics on display as Mauritanian-born Malian director Abderrahmane Sissako drags totems of neoliberalism; the World Bank and the IMF before a tribunal that is still going on till this day. The surrealism and idealism of the trial at the centre of 2006’s ‘Bamako’ waver between tedious and electric. But blinkContinue reading “BAMAKO puts the World Bank and IMF on trial as the soul of Africa withers on the margins”

The latest #ARRAYMatinee gives us another excuse to revisit THE BURIAL OF KOJO

Easily the most accomplished Ghanian film of the last decade and one of my favourites from 2019, Blitz Bazawule’s ‘The Burial of Kojo‘ will be screened as part of an #ARRAYMatinee Netflix watch party on Wednesday, May 13, at 8 PM or 1PM PST on Netflix. Bazawule, a Guggenheim and TED fellow, will Join theContinue reading “The latest #ARRAYMatinee gives us another excuse to revisit THE BURIAL OF KOJO”

Revisiting Sembene’s XALA and the generations of Africa betrayed by our inept elite

The lacerating guile of Ousmane Sembene and his utter contempt for the African elite-cum-politician remain the most appealing banner of his 1975 masterwork ‘Xala’. As its 45th-anniversary approaches, the only things that keep it from being a beat for beat reflection Africa’s contemporary reality are its allegorical and satirical packaging. For Sembene, faith in mostContinue reading “Revisiting Sembene’s XALA and the generations of Africa betrayed by our inept elite”

ALOE VERA offers some charm in its vibrant retort to irrational tribalism

Frenzy on the staircase. A packed cinema lobby and sold-out screenings. No, Disney did not spring a Black Panther sequel on us out of the blue. It was Peter Sedufia’s latest feature, ‘Aloe Vera’, that holds the torch as the biggest film released in Ghanaian cinemas so far in 2020. The support from the GhanaianContinue reading “ALOE VERA offers some charm in its vibrant retort to irrational tribalism”

How Mati Diop’s ATLANTICS quietly offers the closure our forbearers never got during slavery

This piece contains spoilers for Atlantics Did we bury the lede after soaking in Mati Diop’s stunning debut feature film ‘Atlantics’? Rooted in the painful reality of modern sub-Saharan Africa the defining theme of the story for me has grown to be loss; loss of youth, loss of love, loss of dignity, loss of agencyContinue reading “How Mati Diop’s ATLANTICS quietly offers the closure our forbearers never got during slavery”

GOLD COAST LOUNGE offers fleeting pleasures despite an undercooked script

Is Afro-noir going to be a thing after ‘Gold Coast Lounge’, the latest cinematic offering from writer-director Pascal Aka? Film noir serves as the obvious inspiration for this post-independence crime flick which is rife with distracting anachronisms brought on by budget constraints and drab archetypes given life by an undercooked screenplay. Whilst the aesthetic andContinue reading “GOLD COAST LOUNGE offers fleeting pleasures despite an undercooked script”

Mati Diop’s ATLANTICS is a textured supernatural mystery about love and longing

It’s unfair the amount of baggage I took to ‘Atlantics’, French-Senegalese director Mati Diop debut feature. This film has already appeared in some best of 2019 lists after winning the Grand Prix at this year’s Cannes Film Festival where Diop, became the first black woman director to be in contention for the Cannes Film Festival’sContinue reading “Mati Diop’s ATLANTICS is a textured supernatural mystery about love and longing”

Sembène shed a light on the massacre France refused to recognise in CAMP DE THIAROYE

“Long live victory! Long live France!” These the first words we hear blurted out in Ousmane Sembène’s revisionist recount of the tragic massacre of mostly Senegalese soldiers at the eponymous Camp at Thiaroye on November 30, 1944, upon orders from French officials. It’s the first detail the sets the tone for a film that aggressivelyContinue reading “Sembène shed a light on the massacre France refused to recognise in CAMP DE THIAROYE”

Like much of Ghanaian society, our cinema is still swayed by the colonial tide

Over 60 years on from the onset of independence, the stench of colonisation still emanates from various facets of Africa’s being. Colonialism manifested in complex social constructions that are both universal and unique. The tagging of indigenous traditions as anathemas, the detachment or forced blending of peoples, the exploitation of our land and its gloriousContinue reading “Like much of Ghanaian society, our cinema is still swayed by the colonial tide”