Movies / 28 August 2019, 5:00pm / Liam Karabo Joyce
Whether you're looking for a laugh, to learn something new about the continent to or be entertained, here is a list of African movies you need to watch.
Jo (Stycie Waweru) is a witty nine-year-old terminally ill girl obsessed with Jackie Chan movies.
When she is taken back to her rural village in Kenya to live out the rest of her short life, her only comfort is her dream of being a superhero – a dream her rebellious teenage sister Mwix (Nyawara Ndambia), overprotective mother Kathryn (Marrianne Nungo) and the entire village of Maweni think they can fulfill.
Director Likarion Wainaina says he drew heavily on his own childhood in making this film. “I drew from that time when I was nine years old and I had my first cinema experience in an old shack at the edge of Kibera slums in Kenya. I saw Jackie Chan star in Legend of the Drunken Master and right there and then I knew I wanted to make films. From that moment onwards, films became my solace. Every Saturday I would go back to that shack and for three shillings per movie, I would let my mind be transported to other worlds. Worlds that gave me hope, excitement and fear.”
This Nigerian comedy tells the story of billionaire industrialist Chief Beecroft, a flamboyant benefactor to a large extended family of relatives, household staff and assorted mistresses.
Chief Beecroft lives large, like there's no tomorrow, until the day he suddenly dies and the 'bullion van' stops.
His death sees his family and staff scramble to get their hands on his money. It stars Taiwo Obileye and Joke Silva.
When Burkina Faso filmmaker Idrissa Ouedraogo passed away in February, Variety hailed him as “a towering figure of African cinema” and The New York Times described him as “legendary”. Ouedraogo came to international attention in 1989 with "Yaaba" (Grandmother), the story of two children who make friends with an old woman who has been cast out by her village for being a witch.
"Yaaba" won the FIPRESCI Critics’ Prize and a Special Mention from the Ecumenical Jury at the Cannes Film Festival, among other accolades.
Nairobi Half Life
In David ‘Tosh’ Gitonga’s debut feature film, an aspiring actor moves to Nairobi with big dreams of becoming a star, but quickly discovers why the city of opportunity is nicknamed Nairobbery. The Hollywood Reporter called it a “dynamic crime drama… shot through with fresh social and stylistic energy.”
"Nairobi Half Life" won the Breakthrough Audience Award at AFI in 2012 and four Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards in 2014. Lead actor Joseph Wairimu also picked up Best Actor at the Durban International Film Festival and Most Promising Actor at the Africa Movie Academy Awards.
From A Whisper
Wanuri Kahiu's first feature film is based on the real events surrounding the 1998 twin bombings of US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
An intelligence officer and a young, rebellious artist discover that they both lost precious people in the US Embassy bombing; together they learn how to confront their fears and forgive.
Winner of five 2009 African Movie Academy Awards, including Best Film, Director, Screenplay, Editing and Soundtrack. Wanuri also directed the multi-award-winning Rafiki.
* The above movies are available on Showmax and Netflix