Directors: Voline Ogutu (Anyango and the Ogre, Kenya)
Cast: Korede Azeez(Halima’s Choice,Nigeria), Loukman Ali(Katera of the Punishment Island, Uganda), Walt Mzengi Corey (Katope, Tanzania), Mohamed Echkouna (Enmity Djinn, Mauritania), Gcobisa Yako – (MaMlambo, South Africa)
African Folktales Reimagined is one of those films- that you couldn’t miss even if you tried so for those who haven’t watched it yet( hopefully not you,) I know it is not for the lack of publicity. So, sorry, it is about to rain spoilers.
Yeah! A little info about the movie.
African Folktales Reimagined is a result of Netflix and UNESCO collaborative effort to provide African story tellers a platform to tell the stories of their land.
They organized a competition where about 1200 creatives submitted cultural themed short films for review by the best film people (including our very own Femi Odugbemi)
Then, at the end, they were able to select six brilliant(as you must have deduced from watching this anthology) creators and armed them with 75000$ each and a mentor to guide their hands through the project.
I’d say they succeeded, because not only did they deliver the most appealing cinematic masterpieces I’ve ever seen(there was a scene in Katope that required them to burn a paper through red sand), and achieved more showing than telling(omg, did you see the mirror scene when Anyagore’s husband was beating her) but they gave me some scenes that still has me reeling.
And yes, we should get to that, right now.
- Where the Granny signalled her daughter not to open the door as she was praying- Djinn the Enmity
It was the Djinn knocking; and the Granny, without saying a word- just by tapping her thighs- was able to prevent her daughter from inadvertently opening the door of their home to evil.
How much trouble we’ve been saved from with our mother’s eye-ing or the sudden shuffling of their feet? What would have become of us sign languages didn’t exist?
2. Granny shooing everyone out while she “fortified” the kids – Djinn the Enmity
In this scene, Granny chased everyone except her (more vulnerable) grandchildren, out of the house. She could be seen performing some ritual to fortify them in the way she believed.
Shout out to the spiritual pillars in every home-we may never know how much harm is averted because of how they stand in line for their family.
3. Anyagore Accessing Food through her Metal Ring- Anyagore and the Ogre
When that fridge opened for her to access its contents, her excitement and relief, even with all she had to endure to keep things that way, made me understand how abusers could ensure compliance through deprivation.
Independence is not always as sexy as it sounds. It might help to be kinder to abused people who find it hard to break out before passing judgement.
4. Anyagore’s Husband Self-reflection Mirror scene
Another day. Another “offence”. Another reason for the abuser to abuse his wife- Anyagore’s husband is beating her again and he looks up to see his reflection in the mirror(but it is his father’s image who stares back at him).
Basically, he grew up to become exactly who he grew up hating. He realizes this but can’t seem to stop. The grudge had slowly eaten him from the inside.
5. Lastly, this twisted line in Djinn the Enmity.
Not if you can resist the Djinn’s power after he is invoked…but if you can resist the temptation to call a Djinn for help in the first place.
- Avoid people like Korede Azeez(the director of Halima’s Choice) in class. They take “understand the assignment “ too seriously. If you know, you know.
- People can be wicked. I hope providence deals with that man that invoked the Djinn. Amen
- Then, why did Zikhona Bali of Mamlambo start smoking the pipe too when the mantle was handed to her? Wasn’t the pipe sort of the reason for Simphiwe’s failing health?
- There was no reason to waste a whole boat on Gregory in Katera:the punishment island. I hope the boat is okay.
Have you seen African Folktales Reimagined too? Let me know the scenes you connected with in the comments.