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ABOUT – THE DEVIL’S CHEST MOVIE-, HERE IS AN OUTSIDER’S VIEW

If you have watched some Ugandan movies, then you would know what it means to have a movie ruin your day. That moment when you are excited because the title and trailer say so: only to have yourself faint at the screening of the movie. Well, even though the Devil’s Chest has its flaws, it is not one of those films that will make you wish you had stayed in bed.

Apparently Hassan Mageye, this movie’s writer and director, is one of the best directors in East Africa. He is known for movies such as The Tailor (2015), Galz About Town (2015), and Ugandan Pollock (2016). A close informant also mentioned to me that this man must have collected more awards than any other director within the entire East African region.

Take the Devil’s Chest for example. Film got about eleven nominations for the Uganda Film Festival Awards; including:

  • Best Actor
  • Best Actress
  • Best Cinematography
  • Best Feature film
  • Best Screen play
  • Movie of the year
  • Best Costume
  • Best Sound
  • Best Editing and post production.

When I first started watching the movie, I got the feeling that this was going to be another replica of Beasts of No Nation. But later it proved me wrong. I could however not avoid the urge to note down a few things that to me were a little off even though these were later over shadowed.

  1. I thought that some of the actors lacked passion. What they said did not correspond with how they said it, if one said to the partner how and why they could rescue  Amon (a character in the movie), they both acted as though there was some refrain.  As though something was holding them on the inside. Telling them not to do what they were saying. In my opinion, there was lack of conviction as of whether they even had the courage to do what they were saying. So I could not develop any personal convictions either. Their passion for rescue was on the surface. Complimented by the body language. I couldn’t feel it any deeper than they said it.
  2. Some lines seemed like stage. Like they had been recited for Drama or stage. I have the audacity to say this because when I personally attended some auditions for acting, one of the judges later revealed to me that what I had done was stage acting. Not film. So from my observation, some of these lines were obviously recited. Not natural. Yet this is film. Not poetry.
  3. The accent of some of the characters was a little off. I do not think this was the intention of the director. But the way the message was delivered made me think so.
  4. I am not a film maker. So this is a question out of curiosity. Perhaps a cinematographer might have a better answer. Was the whole film based on close-up shots? Because as much as I loved the imagery and video-graphy,( believe me this film was good). But hey, I thought some scenes were better off as wide or medium shots. That’s to your judgement. Or leave me an educative note in the comment section.
  5. Local Dialect. Now I wish the film was fully in local dialect. Because like I said before, some of the character’s English made me??? Question the film. The Swahili seemed so natural, plus the other language. Must have been Acholi or Lango or another. But that was fantastic. I loved both the protagonist and Antagonist’s English.

Moving on from that, I think the story was awesome, Choice of Title? Incredible!   I loved the fact that Kony had a heart that loved this woman. His words to her were really deep and touching. (Why did he say to the BBC Press that they did not murder civilians?), the sound or background music was fantastic, the scene where the rebels sing ***We are Matching, killing etc in the will of God was Hilarious. I mean the dark humor was fantastic! So at the end of the day, the beauty of this film washed away all my anguish. And it was a win-win.

Damn! I loved it! Please leave your comment about article or film in the comment section below. And  watch trailer BELOW. Enjoy!

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GATHER TOGETHER IN MY NAME- MAYA ANGELOU

Gather Together In My Name – Maya Angelou’s autobiography. VOLUME 2.

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Maya Angelou. God Bless Her Soul!

 It is mesmerizing how this author would take you through a series of her American past as though it were your own.

I have to read, but I have to admit. Maya Angelou is, if not the best I have read. [That woman was the definition of Narration and talent.]

 So I grabbed this book Wednesday Morning at 10AM and it kept me all but pinned down to my seat until I finished it at 2pm. There is an aura in her literature. The narratives are excellent, and I would be lying if I claimed to have words to describe it.

PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE BOOK DESCRIPTION BELOW


 [Gather Together in My Name continues Maya Angelou’s personal story, begun so unforgettably in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. The time is the end of World War II and there is a sense of optimism everywhere. Maya Angelou, still in her teens, has given birth to a son. But the next few years are difficult ones as she tries to find a place in the world for herself and her child. She goes from job to job–and from man to man. She tries to return home–back to Stamps, Arkansas–but discovers that she is no longer part of that world. Then Maya’s life takes a dramatic turn, and she faces new challenges and temptations.

In this second volume of her poignant autobiographical series, Maya Angelou powerfully captures the struggles and triumphs of her passionate life with dignity, wisdom, humor, and humanity..


Now you’ve read about it. I suggest you grab the copy as soon as possible and if you’re already a reader, you sure by now should be aware of Maya’s enormous significance in Global literature. 

Enjoy your reads,.. Remember,     images you can share your opinion about the book in the comment section below!  

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Why Britain’s forgotten slave owners?

 

BRITAIN’S FORGOTTEN SLAVE OWNERS

PROCUDER & DIRECTOR:  BEN CHRISTON

DAVID OLUSOGA as Writer and Presenter.

#Prompt# Did this documentary challenge any preconceived notions you had about the subject matter of this film? What were they and where did they stem from?

I barely had any notions before watching this documentary. To be honest I know slavery has existed, and it is still arguable that it still exists today, but I had never thought about it in the way that David Olusoga, the writer of this film, presented it.

When I think of slavery, what comes to mind is usually the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, plus of course the slavery in America. I had never really focused on slavery in Britain and how it must have been even though that I know chunks of enslavement had been there. Neither did I know that the extent to which slavery in Britain had been practiced was as large as the revelation that I got when I watched the film.

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I have always known slavery is an evil, that it was horrible, but I had never fully understood its depths. It was the vastness of the archives that shocked me however. The huge number of slave owners around Britain, and how many slaves these owners had.

My team and I did the topic ‘The Trans-Atlantic’ slave trade in my African Philosophical Thought class last year. The experience was great. The lessons enormous. But barely in our research did we come across Britain. Most of the videos and literature we came across was American. So we did not really delve deeper into Britain. Watching this video has however opened my eyes to these realities. Learning that even after the Trans-Atlantic slave trade was abolished, slavery still existed. This gave me insights on themes like Trans-Atlantic slave trade Abolition versus The Abolition of slavery as a whole.

It was also amazing to learn that the slave owners had to be compensated for, but what was even more amusing was the fact that they invested their money in huge national projects, sparking a new wave of development. Which makes me wonder. Were the slave owners/traders inherently aggressive and enterprising? After all, when the slavery was being abolished, they fought. When they were at losing ends, they filed for a compensation and when they got the money, they invested it in even more productive or rewarding activities.

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The thirst and drive at which these men ran the country was mesmerizing. They were boisterous, aggressive, and influential. They were powerful. They had an overwhelming thirst for prosperity and wealth. They prospered at everything they did despite the cost. No wonder men like George Hibbert defended slavery as much as they could. It is not surprising that one woman in Jamaica, had to completely devalue her slaves, in order to make it clear to the Royal government that the compensation they were making was not enough whatsoever.

Watch Video Here…

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ALL THE DEAD ARISING

All the dead Arising.

Book by Jamie Campbell. `

In a world where the adults are dead. Things are hard to comprehend. Everly losses her parents on the night of ‘the Event‘. The mysterious night on which all adults die, living the young to their own means. Now Everly, with her ability to see and talk to the dead, must find a way to block out the voices from the dead, in the struggle to protect herself and her nine year old sister Faith. She must learn to help by all means. Both the humans and the ghosts.download-2

This book kept me on my toes. I could barely resist the urge to turn form page to page in my struggle to chew quickly what Evie would be doing next. The suspense in the book got my adrenaline rushing even after months of not opening my Kindle. I LOVED IT!

Certainly Jamie Campbell is now a must read for me. You can get the book free on Amazon.

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It was raining, for I could hear the huge drops of the rain on them iron-sheets…

I could feel a twinge of pain as I tried to stretch. There is a way in which like a sharp needle, the pain went straight through my back, shook me to the bone marrow, and altered my vision. I was tired yet strong, fresh and nauseated all the same. How could a human experience all these emotions at once?  Although my blanket was thick, never before had I got so much warmth from it.

There was a throbbing pain beneath my chest, that stayed no matter how much I tried to ignore it. Besides, my blanket seemed extremely hairy that particular morning! What shocked me was how energetic I felt the moment I sat up. Where had I got so much energy?  Where had I lost my usual habits to? My habits of turning and yawning before finally gathering some strength to kick myself out of bed?

“Goodness! What has become of me?” I cried in despair. What had I been sleeping with? It was the rigidity of my reflection in the mirror in front of me. The realization that I was just as hairy as a bear, scared the heck out me.  My new blue-green eyes gazed at my new extremely hairy eye-brow… What was I? What had I become? This was not me…

 

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BBC 4’s LOST KINGDOMS OF AFRICA – THE GREAT ZIMBABWE. A Documentary Journal.

I am back with my one pager Documentary Journal for Dr.Gus’ BBC Films. I mentioned in one of my previous posts that this a task I am doing for my Social Theory class. More of analysing history and several philosophical thoughts. 

Prompt #. How do you think the title of this film relates to its content? Discuss.

Even though the title is ‘The Great Zimbabwe’, I found the content highly unrelated to the title. Perhaps the documentary could have been named ‘The Swahili,’ Or the Eastern Coast, The rituals of Manyikeni or even Mapungubwe, since in my opinion, these are the topics the film covers. Up to half way through the film, Dr. Gus is still taking his audience around the Eastern African Coast, Mozambique, and the interior while Zimbabwe itself is barely in there. One could  defend that BBC had been earlier denied the opportunity to film in Zimbabwe but seems to make totally no difference as even when permission was finally granted, the audience could have heard the tales from the people of Zimbabwe as a nation. Not the representation of a country’s history by a group of less than twenty people.

Despite the fact that Zimbabwe was mentioned, that the documentary covered at least the eleven meters tall Great wall of Zimbabwe, I found a very small relationship between the title and the content.

WATCH VIDEO HERE…

From the beginning, Dr. Gus travels around Kilwa, in Tanzania, unveiling the hidden wealth and history of the East African coast. He unveils how Kilwa was a gateway to the coast through its Gold market, its major supplier being the Great Zimbabwe, likewise the filming of Manyikeni in Mozambique. In my opinion, this documentary was not about Zimbabwe and neither was it about Tanzania or Mozambique.

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A corridor in the Great Zimbabwe wall…

It was rather about specific places in these particular countries. The film was about Kilwa and its Gold trade, it was about The Great Mosque of Kilwa, and it was about the Manyikeni in Mozambique, about the rituals of ‘spiritual blessings’ at both Manyikeni and the Zimbabwe Highlands. These were the only detailed places and the film seemed largely focused about them. The documentary lacked the richness of the evidently missing people and culture of the Great Zimbabwe. There was very little evidence even in making the connections. This documentary, in comparison to others like that of ‘the lost Kingdoms of Africa: West Africa or Ethiopia’ where the evidence was floating before the viewer’s eyes, was way not detailed at all. It seemed to have touched the surface instead of the core, unfortunately for me since the title of the documentary had triggered a lot of excitement and expectations.

WATCH VIDEO HERE OR ABOVE…

BBC 4’s Lost Kingdoms of Africa: The Great Zimbabwe

Feel free to leave your thoughts on the video after you’ve watched it… Enjoy!

 

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HOMEGOING : Yaa Gyasi

If you are a lover of literature, and you’ve not yet read HOMEGOING, then I suggest you grab yourself a copy as soon as possible. This one will keep you awake. It is sad but thrilling. It will touch you heart. It  will teach you.

The book is overwhelmingly beautiful. Well, I don’t really know how the author Yaa Gyasi does it,  it is heard to explain. But it is beautiful. So I have not been reading much literature these days, but this book has got me on my toes. Certainly one of my best.

The book covers a series of stories about two sisters “Effia and Esi, with two different destinies. One is sold into slavery; one is a slaver trader’s wife. The consequences of their fates reverberate through the generations that follow” download-1

What constantly surprises me is the fact that you don’t have to necessarily read the book in order. Any  chapter you open will give you an ultimate experience. Well, who knows what your thoughts on it will be. Better you Grab your copy and share the experience.

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