African Cinema, Film Reviews

FINYE – Oppression lies behind every corner in Souleymane Cissé’s jagged allegory

Souleymane Cissé never strays far from the essence of African cinema in his 1982 film 'Finye'. A spirit of rebellion is the connective tissue that holds the various layers of the portrait of urban Mali he constructed in his third feature. That spine of resistance is all we have to hold 'Finye’s' clunky narrative together.… Continue reading FINYE – Oppression lies behind every corner in Souleymane Cissé’s jagged allegory

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African Cinema, Film Reviews

THE DELIVERY BOY sports a flawed emotional core too embroiled in the trauma Olympics

A sense of self-preservation unites the central characters in Adekunle Nodash Adejuyigbe’s thriller ‘The Delivery Boy.’ A Muslim extremist youth with a burning blood lust is being hounded by a mob. Nearby, a sex worker emerges triumphant after a scuffle over her pay. But she soon takes flight, moving as fast as her pumps will… Continue reading THE DELIVERY BOY sports a flawed emotional core too embroiled in the trauma Olympics

African Cinema, Film Reviews

Ejiofor crafts an altar to science and resistance in THE BOY WHO HARNESSED THE WIND

“Democracy is like imported cassava. It rots quickly.” This sentiment nods to the underlying decay that forms the poignant subtext of Chiwetel Ejiofor’s feature debut ‘The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind’. Based on a true story, Ejiofor’s project, as expected, does what it says on the can, serving bouts of inspiration and dignity but there… Continue reading Ejiofor crafts an altar to science and resistance in THE BOY WHO HARNESSED THE WIND

African Cinema

THE BURIAL OF KOJO heading to Netflix; Ava DuVernay’s ARRAY acquires Blitz Bazawule’s debut film

Probably the most captivating piece of Ghanaian cinema since Kwaw Ansah was is in his prime is heading for Netflix. Blitz 'The Ambassador' Bazawule's 'The Burial of Kojo' has been acquired by Ava Duvernay's production company ARRAY (Array Releasing) for distribution and will hit start streaming on March 31. This marks the 22nd acquisition for… Continue reading THE BURIAL OF KOJO heading to Netflix; Ava DuVernay’s ARRAY acquires Blitz Bazawule’s debut film

African Cinema, Film Reviews

FIVE FINGERS FOR MARSEILLES – Stimulating South African western with a great sense of mood

The window to one’s soul is through the eyes, we are told time and time again. But sometimes the hands of a man can paint an accurate portrait of his essence as South African director Michael Matthews shows in his 2017 debut feature ‘Five Fingers for Marseilles’. He does so in a manner that recalled… Continue reading FIVE FINGERS FOR MARSEILLES – Stimulating South African western with a great sense of mood

African Cinema, Film Reviews

LIONHEART – Nnaji’s tidy debut is unlikely to outgrow its Netflix subplot

The Genevieve Nnaji-directed ‘Lionheart’ opens with the intersection of violence and the mundane I hope a Nigerian filmmaker tackles one day. The eponymous transport company, based in Enugu, is overrun by men demanding payment for helping fill seats in their buses. They troop in with a sense of entitlement roughing up workers as onlookers stand… Continue reading LIONHEART – Nnaji’s tidy debut is unlikely to outgrow its Netflix subplot

African Cinema, Film Reviews

YEELEN – Souleymane Cissé leaves us spellbound with sublime visuals and staunch mysticism

I feel some guilt for simmering desire within for some major studio to announce a remake of Souleymane Cissé’s 1987 fantasy film ‘Yeelen’. After a second viewing, I was certain the backing of even a moderate budget will imbue the needed spectacle worthy of Cissé’s confident vision. Like most fantasy or sci-fi filmmakers from the… Continue reading YEELEN – Souleymane Cissé leaves us spellbound with sublime visuals and staunch mysticism

African Cinema, Film Reviews

THE BURIAL OF KOJO – Blitz Bazawule shows much more than promise in his lavish debut

It’s not an exercise in hyperbole to say 'The Burial of Kojo' was my most anticipated film of the year. It goes without saying that the Ghanaianess of this production anchored this sentiment. But it’s also to do with being roped in behind the curtain as Writer-Director Samuel 'Blitz' Bazawule (Blitz the Ambassador) rallied film… Continue reading THE BURIAL OF KOJO – Blitz Bazawule shows much more than promise in his lavish debut

African Cinema, Film Reviews

I AM NOT A WITCH – Nyoni’s debut sears the conscience of a toxic status quo

By the time I had sat through Zambian-Welsh director Rungano Nyoni’s debut film, ‘I Am Not a Witch’, there was a small cloud of guilt hovering over my head. It's to do with how hilarious I found this film about ingrained misogyny and blatant human rights abuses. It’s really down to Nyoni’s clever approach; making… Continue reading I AM NOT A WITCH – Nyoni’s debut sears the conscience of a toxic status quo

African Cinema, Film Reviews

BADLUCK JOE – This bloated romp really should’ve been all about Patapaa

I reckon there is an alternate version of Ramesh Jai’s 'Badluck Joe' loafing in the cloud. This unmade script is a deft satire about the cynical machinations and mafias that spawn around grief when the rights to oversee funeral rites are at stake, in addition to a juicy inheritance of course. This unmade version isn’t… Continue reading BADLUCK JOE – This bloated romp really should’ve been all about Patapaa