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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Watching Africa on Youtube:)

Like many of you (possibly), I enjoy a good African film from time to time... and when I say good-- I mean, the plot has to be interesting and the acting somewhat realistic. I say 'somewhat' because many African films fall on the overacting side. I'm not going to front, there are some of the overacting ones that caught my attention (African version of ratchet TV). As a teenager, I briefly wanted to be an African film actress. If that doesn't say much about my personality, then I don't know what does.

However, there are plenty of African films that don't fall in this typical category and I had the pleasure of enjoying a few recently.

Enroute to Nigeria, I had the pleasure of watching some amazing African films via Emirates last Christmas. One was a particular gem because I read the graphic novel many years ago and was surprised to see it as an animated motion picture. "Aya de Yopougon" is such a pleasant film about a girl who is trying not to let society, family, or friends influence deter her from pursuing her dream of medical school. At the same time, it focuses on some funny and reflective situations in Aya's small neighborhood in 1970s Abidjan, Ivory Coast.  Folks, the film is adorable; I shook my head and laugh at many scenes. What makes it all the more recommendable is that it focuses on real-life issues that are present in our African community-- positives and negatives: cheating fathers, African fashion, incorrigible womanizers vs. money-hungry young women, highlife nightlife, and more. I would own it if I knew where to purchase it. A visual treat!
A short clip from the film: Aya's friend is "sick" ooooo (wink wink)

What I really wanted to see and finally had the chance to was the screening of "Half of a Yellow Sun". One of my favorite books of all time, I was truly excited to watch the film adaptation. It didn't hurt that Chiwetel Ojiofor was playing our beloved Odenigbo. A story that centers on the cultural divides and the post colonial impact on a newly independent Nigeria, the film did it's best to portray such complexes but overall, it was a bit melodramatic for me. I felt the screenwriting was sparse and lacking in comparison to the depth of the novel. There were some one-liners I recalled from the book but overall, the movie was just average. I suppose I couldn't get over Thandie's South African accent but Chiwetel's chest hair was enough to make up for it:) I will surely suggest the book lovers to see the visual presentation, it's surely worth it. But it'll make you want to run and read the book all over again.

It snowed last Monday and I spent the first half of the day watching old Ghanaian films. One of my favorite films as a kid was "Dirty Tears" (you already know) and that was just fun watching again... Another favorite of mine is the socially critical short film, "Love Brewed in an African Pot". The title alone is eye-catching and the movie is really simple, sweet, and thought-provoking. What I love the most is how vintage it is: the music, the setting along romantic Cape Coast, and how the innocence of love is portrayed in the film. Themes like family influence in marriage, social class conflicts, and self-acceptance are all present in the film The upload is probably the clearest it can be given the time the film was created but honestly, it's a good flick.

Full film:)

Among some other African webisodes or films online is The African City (thanks for the suggestion Clar and Amma). You can always watch your favorite Nollywood film on YT as well :/

What is your favorite African film, past or present?


Chinye said...

thanks for the movie recommendations! I typically watch Nolloywood movies on iRokoTv and take advantage of their premium subscription, but find many moves now are too much to handle. there is only so much juju or infidelity i can take. Also, please say you'll re-cap your trip to Nigeria :-)

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