Drawing ever nearer and nearer. Film Africa 2014 is so close you can almost taste it!
As a little treat we have another review, this time from Antony Nobrega. Here are his thoughts on the disturbing White Shadow:
A visually and emotionally powerful opening to this accomplished film, set in Tanzania, we are introduced to Alias and his journey as he is forced to leave his village and adapt to a new life in the city. The first images convey a sense of magic and the film revolves around, to an extent, the practice of witchcraft as well as themes of loss, death, belonging, family, desperation and survival.
Alias is an Albino as is his father. We learn that in parts of East Africa such as Tanzania, Albinos are believed to bring luck and cure disease and for this reason are pursued by Witch Doctors and criminals looking to profit from their murder and the sale of their body parts. Fearful for the life of her child, Alias’s mother sends him to stay with her brother in the city, hopeful that from there he will be taken to a place where he will be safe from harm and build a life for himself. But broken promises and poverty leave Alias alone and the forces around him put his life in danger.
The cinematography, soundtrack and performances are excellent. The film is full of very striking imagery enhanced by the haunting soundtrack and naturalistic dialogue. Scenes set at night were in particular effective and atmospheric.
At times the narrative became somewhat muddled and confusing. There is somewhat of a lull in the middle portion of the film and it could be said that overall the film is a little on the long side. However, whatever is lacking midway in the film is easily forgiven in the last half hour – an intense, harrowing and compelling experience. For this reason the film is worth the persevering with and when dealing with such grave and disturbing matters this film does not shy away from showing the reality and brutality of such situations.
This is a difficult and disturbing film to watch at times with several scenes that are quite shocking and brutal in their depiction of violence. Well-acted with an electric performance from newcomer Hamisi Bazili and stunningly directed by Noaz Deshe, White Shadow is almost always compelling due to the commitment of all involved.
To find out what Antony’s talking about purchase your ticket to White Shadow by following this link:BUY TICKETS
For the rest of the festival goings-on please check out the programme. Tickets are selling fast!
Copy Editor and Blog Manager, Film Africa