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”

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”

An unforgettable Tom Hardy ramps up the absurdist intensity in VENOM

There’s a scene in ‘Venom’ in which Tom Hardy’s Eddie Brock, a hapless investigative reporter, enters a high-end restaurant looking for his ex-girlfriend, Anne (Michelle Williams). He’s recently bonded with the titular symbiote after some espionage gone wrong and he thinks he is going insane. His hulking frame is soaked in sweat and the brashContinue reading “An unforgettable Tom Hardy ramps up the absurdist intensity in VENOM”

Disillusion, apathy and dysfunction; TOUKI BOUKI’s foreshadowing of our existential cul de sac

When did Africans start to lose faith in Africa? How long did it take the buoyant flames of colonialism to be quenched by the decadence of the elite and an underestimation of neocolonialism? Probably in the mid-’60s, and judging by the golden age of Senegalese cinema, this sentiment became truly entrenched in the ‘70s; withContinue reading “Disillusion, apathy and dysfunction; TOUKI BOUKI’s foreshadowing of our existential cul de sac”

TOUKI BOUKI – A surreal love affair with Africa heading nowhere

Djibril Diop Mambety envisions a fantastical world without consequences for his protagonists in his 1973 film, Touki Bouki. But there is an air of melancholy underpinning the narrative because the characters appear to be cogs in a cycle of nothingness. Mambety’s sometimes non-linear narrative coupled with peculiar editing and overly kinetic transitions point towards aContinue reading “TOUKI BOUKI – A surreal love affair with Africa heading nowhere”

SEMBENE! – The tragedy of African Cinema

The 2015 documentary, Sembene! is a welcome tribute to the father of African cinema, Ousmane Sembene. We spend a chunk of the film soaking in co-director (alongside Jason Silverman), Samba Gadjigo’s reverence for the Senegalese filmmaker as he recounts the impact of Sembene, decades before they eventually met. “When I was 14 I dreamed ofContinue reading “SEMBENE! – The tragedy of African Cinema”

THE BOY KUMASENU, VIA SOME 50s PROPAGANDA

November was the month that smiled on me, allowing me my first slice of the African Film Society’s Classics in the Park series. Under the still Osu night with a cool breeze forcing its way from the sea, the curiously christened ‘Akola Boni’ Park serves as the monthly meeting point of some cinephiles and cultureContinue reading “THE BOY KUMASENU, VIA SOME 50s PROPAGANDA”

THE RELEGATION OF SETTING TO MERE PROPS

For the initiated, it will be no hot take to say there are criminally underused elements in Ghanaian filmmaking. When was the last time you saw a film from the point of view of an aging protagonist (hell, middle aged), our screen writers have seemingly decided they do not exist. How about a film anchoredContinue reading “THE RELEGATION OF SETTING TO MERE PROPS”

REACHING FOR THE PROMISE OF THE BLACK STAR INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

As cinephile cupping a flickering candle of hope for of an awakening of Ghanaian cinema, 2016 has basically been walk through a tart blizzard whipped up by the forces of mainstream GH cinema’s frivolity. But I look up in the horizon and see perhaps some easement in the Black Star International Film Festival (BSIFF). IContinue reading “REACHING FOR THE PROMISE OF THE BLACK STAR INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL”

‘WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR ME LATELY’ GH CINEMA?

So it turns out I don’t care much for Ghanaian cinema. The sages among us say actions speak louder than words. My actions in the first two quarters of this year have indicated that I have subliminally affirmed Ghanaian cinema as something I can live without. Rebecca is the sole Ghanaian production I’ve seen inContinue reading “‘WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR ME LATELY’ GH CINEMA?”