As the curtains descended on the 12th Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF), the closing film, “Breath of Life,” gracefully took center stage, capping off the cinematic journey with a poignant and immersive narrative that left the audience breathless. Directed by a BB Sasore and one of the 15 productions to come from the agreement between Nemsia and Amazon Prime, the film proved to be an evocative testament to the power of storytelling and its ability to transcend cultural boundaries.
Set against a backdrop that seamlessly blended the urban pulse of a bustling city in 1953 with the serene rhythm of nature, “Breath of Life” began as a visual symphony, capturing the essence of life’s moments and decisions. From the opening frames, the cinematography, masterfully orchestrated, painted a canvas that echoed the vibrancy of the city of Ibadan.
The narrative unfolded with an enchanting subtlety, introducing characters whose lives became intertwined like intricate patterns. The film’s pacing, a delicate dance between moments of introspection and bursts of emotional crescendo, mirrored the ebb and flow of life itself. Viewers found themselves drawn into a world where every frame held a story, and every silence spoke volumes.
The cast, a mix of seasoned performers and emerging talents, delivered performances that resonated with characters. Each actor breathed life into their character (you get it? 😊), making them more than mere figures on the screen; they became vessels for the universal experiences that unite us all. The film’s lead character Wale Ojo grappled with love, loss, and the quest for purpose, providing a mirror through which audiences could reflect on their own journeys.
One of the film’s standout elements was its evocative soundtrack, a harmonious blend of melodies and contemporary compositions. The music became a character, guiding the emotional currents of the narrative and immersing the audience in a sonic landscape that mirrored the film’s visual splendor.
“Breath of Life” skilfully navigated thematic depths, touching on the intricate relationships between humanity and our maker, 1953’s and 2053 (can’t remember which year was in focus). The film’s narrative arcs flowed seamlessly, bringing together the opening scene with the closing, the ancient and the contemporary. It became a meditation on the cyclical nature of life, where moments of despair were counterbalanced by the enduring resilience of the human spirit.
Without delving into spoiler territory, it suffices to say that the conclusion resonated with emotional resonance and thematic closure. The audience found themselves suspended in a moment of pain (there were a few tears here and there), reflection, and that feeling of overwhelming joy, when love conquers and wins.
As the lights came back on in the theatre, there was a collective sigh—a shared acknowledgment of having witnessed something truly extraordinary. “Breath of Life” wasn’t just a film; it was a feel-good experience, a celebration of the universal human experience told through the lens of visionary storytelling.
AFRIFF’s choice of “Breath of Life” as the closing film for its 12th edition was a masterstroke. The film encapsulated the festival’s spirit— to promote more indigenous movies to a global audience. As the festival concluded, “Breath of Life” will linger in the collective memory of attendees, as it makes its journey to the streaming platform – AMAZON PRIME!