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HomeentertainmentMovie News'Mami Wata' Review: A Black and White Experiment in Nigerian Allegory

'Mami Wata' Review: A Black and White Experiment in Nigerian Allegory

In CJ “Fiery” Obasi’s Mami Wata, black becomes a canvas on which the director paints a propelling and vivid story. Shadows take on new roles and meaning in this tale of ideological differences brewing in a fictional West African village. As a character contemplates the fate of her people, black shadows loom over the waves lapping the shore. The black color makes the patterns drawn with white paint on the villagers’ faces more clear. Black heralds menacing, vengeful, hopeful and renewed faith swirling in this allegory of modernity’s slow creep.

The film takes place in the village of Iyi, where Mami Wata, the water god of West Africa and its diaspora culture, has ruled for decades through her intermediary Mama Efe (Rita Edochie). Obasi begins his scheming supernatural story with generational tension: Mam Efe’s daughter Jinvi (Uzomaka Aninuno) responds to a After the request of the village women, they rushed out of the house. Zinwe doesn’t understand why her mother doesn’t use her powers to help the woman; her mother tries to explain the rituals they must follow.

Asami Wata

bottom line Vivid narrative and dynamic study of colour.

Place : Sundance Film Festival (World Film and Theater Competition) Cast: Evelyne Ily Juhen, Uzoamaka Aniunoh, Emeka Amakeze, Rita Edochie, Kelechi Udegbe
Director and screenwriter: CJ “Fiery” Obasi 1 hour minutes

Amidst the quarrel between the mother and daughter, a sense of uneasiness lurks in the village. The Yiyi people are losing faith in Mama Efe and, more broadly, the goddess Mamivata. Obasi, who has made two other films and is part of a new wave of Nigerian filmmakers expanding the concept of Nollywood, has a knack for storytelling. Mami Wata maintains a steady narrative and balances its broader thematic interests—intergenerational angst, Western influences churning established conventions—with action and character development. The entire film is in pidgin English, bringing a touch of melody to an already poetic piece. Questioning their mother’s commitment to tradition. While Zinwe struggles with Mama Efe, Prisca lives her life – romping with a man who keeps his eyes on her and dancing into the morning at a local bar. She embodies an uninhibited free spirit and refreshing sensuality. Through these three central characters, Obasi depicts the dimension of women living in a matriarchal society and invokes the multiple meanings of the notoriously fickle Avatar.

Edochie plays Mama Efe as the stoic presence of the village, a woman indifferent to the changes taking place among her people. Zinwe contrasts with her mother, while Aniunoh emphasizes the young woman’s easily disturbed temperament. Juhen’s Prisca sits somewhere in the middle of these different women. She vacillates between mother and sister, trying to grab hold of and join each of their bodies.

Mami Wata is told in chapters, each section is introduced by a title card. The action begins in part three when a man named Jasper (Emeka Amakeze) washes up on the village’s shores. Prisca and Mama Efe – now alone since Zinwe’s escape – nurse the stranger back to health and welcome him into their inner circle. Meanwhile, the village is in turmoil as a mysterious disease begins to spread. One resident, Jabi (Kelechi Udegbe), forms a rebel group and demands that Mama Efe relinquish control of the village to them.

As Jabi and his men gain control, the village soon erupts into conflict. Betrayal is also revealed as Prisca learns more about Jasper and his untold past. These higher stakes help Mami Wata fulfill its genre aspirations. As Prisca tries to save her village, Obasi’s film transitions from its more observational beginnings to adopt the catchy beat of a traditional thriller.

Similar to the work of Nigerian artist Toyin Ojih Odutolah, who shares a national origin with Obasi, Mami Wata recreates the Cast familiar stories and experiment with black, white and gray visually. This movie revisits post-colonial countries like

Nigeria etc. recurrent tensions in national narratives)—the sprawling violence of colonization, the allure of self-determination—and tries to ask different questions and imagine alternatives. At first glance, Jabi and his crew appear to be the solution to the villagers’ growing problems, but power corrupts the rebel group and they ultimately prove unreliable. The film then asks, should the village restore intermediary agencies or find another way?

With the help of DP Lílis Soares, whose cinematography won the Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, Obasi visually mimics this exercise, moving from black and white to More meaning is extracted from the shadows between. In the charcoal night sky, Obasi and Suarez saw the goddess’s capricious mood. In the Obsidian Forest, where Priska confronts the rebel group, they devise a metaphor for Yiyi’s turmoil and identity crisis. Amid the agate-coloured waves lapping the sand, they find the traditions of the past rubbing against the sirens of the future.

Full credits 47

Venue: Sundance Film Festival (World Film and Theater Competition)

Production Company: Fiery Film Company Cast: Evelyne Ily Juhen, Uzoamaka Aniunoh, Emeka Amakeze, Rita Edochie, Kelechi Udegbe Director and screenwriter: CJ “Hot” ” Obasi
Producer: Oge Obasi Photographer: Lílis Soares Production designer: The Fiery One Costume Design: Bunmi Demilola FashinaEditor: Nathan Delannoy
Composer: Tunde Jegede

Sales: CAA

West African Pidgin 1 hour minutes

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