FILM AFRICA FESTIVAL BLOG – KADJIKE REVIEW

Kadjike is a rarity in that is set in a part of the world that remains mysterious to the rest of the world. A fascinating look into a world untouched, Kadjike is a unique experience.

Thank you Kat Bridgeman for your take on KADJIKE:

Kadjike, is set in the Bissagos Islands, located on the west coast of Africa. This beautifully shot rites of passage film follows the struggle between the respected elders and young inhabitants of these stunning islands as the young question some of the antiquated rules and regulations of their land. This community lives according to ancient traditions and in absolute respect for nature and rituals.

Here knowledge is handed down from generation to generation, through sacred ceremonies. When the arrival of a gang of drug dealers onto their paradise islands threatens the survival of the entire community and the medicine man dies; it is up to Ankina, his young successor, to step forward, save the village from the invaders and fulfill his destiny.

The cinematography is striking with the first scenes depicting the Goddess dividing and entrusting the sacred Islands, surrounding waters and inhabitants over to her vulnerable and petrified four Goddess daughters. There are some lovely tender and naturalistic moments between Ankina ( Rubilson Velho Delcano ) and his young love Ommy ( Beti Moreira Vaz). There were also strong performances from Trindade Gomes de Costa as Toh, the rebellious friend of Ankina, desperate to explore foreign shores, and seductress drug lady Assume (Isabel N’Fanda M’Bali).

Director Sana Na N’Hada should be applauded for the ambition and scale of Kadjike. Although there are moments of stilted dialogue and uneven performances, there are some wonderfully symbolic and gripping scenes, Ankina’s initiation under the tree of wisdom with a venomous snake was both beautiful and brutal. Toh’s awful city experience and Ommy’s strong determination to follow her man were memorable. The music, songs and naturalistic soundscape of drums and wildlife added to the mystical and traditional feel of this film. The calm picturesque shots of village life, hair plaiting, cooking and peaceful coastal scenes were in stark contrast with the fast pace of the city lights, cars and the harsh reality of dealers manufacturing substances. This beautifully captured the struggle between traditional and modern life in a refreshing way.   The real star of Sana Na N’Hada’s film Kadjike is the paradise Bissagos Islands and its indigenous people, the cinematography captured this enchanting place of beauty and showed us a glimpse into a completely untouched harmonious way of life.

For tickets to Kadjike at Ritzy, tomorrow, 6.30pm:

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