THE GLOBAL AFRICAN VILLAGE 2023

In The 6th Region

Harlem Renaissance – Couple in Racoon Coats- James Van Der Zee photo 1932.

Commentary:

We are involved with questioning the identities, forms, unique types and continuing psychic evolving nature of Blackness – within the politics of Race Relations in societies and governments. Watching ourselves through the medium of the moving image, screenplays, stories, and actors. Both for entertainment, edification, income generation, status, and prestige, where are the benefits? Whom do they serve?   

We who are of mixed heritage, which are the majority in the world, resist the pull of blood- purity. Only to find out centuries ago, your lineage was something now detested. That legacy is uniquely perverse, let it go completely.  Cultures and races are the spices of the species, enjoy!  After all is said and done, we can work it out. One People, One Race, Human, Humanity!

Watch all the movies listed below over a short intense period, participate in the search for self-discovery, recovery, healing, and growth. Our true identity is secured in our humanity. For many, identities are now fluid, you are whom you want to be, that is your individual choice. Yet, we all have an origin, we began somewhere, it is registered in our genes, our collective unconscious, our DNA.

NEW JACK CITY

Rated 18

Running Time: 96mins approx. 

A smooth Entrepreneur who’s found the ultimate cash flow, crack cocaine, thinks he’s untouchable, but he is wrong! A handful of street-smart cops are determined to bring him down, place him behind bars, if not extermination.

A hard-hitting tale with a gritty anti-drug message, the type of drug abuse on-screen here, devasted the Black communities all over the 6th Region, environments filled with people from an African descent. Why, how and by whom, are questions of reflection and introspection for all involved in that deluge. 

Dynamic soundtracks of the times in the lives, from many popular artistes are included throughout. This is the 1990s personified, well worth the retro-spectating. No tears in the end! Remember it is only a movie, mimicking real life, which is more and beyond the screen.

FALLEN

Rated 15

Running Time: 119 mins approx.

A strange supernatural thriller. A homicide detective pursues a killer down a bustling sidewalk. There she is a small middle-aged woman. No, wait, the killer is a timid man beside her. No, now its someone else. Its all and none of them, because the murderer is a demon passing from one human host to another, in transference by a brush of an overcoat or mere touch of a hand. The detective is seeking an immortal foe, an invisible enemy or phantom. In this intense thriller, an aged old evil, juju magic – obeah science – voodoo – faces a shattering showdown with a clever, relentless tenacious man. Watch, listen and learn.

THE BUTLER

Rated 12

Running Time: 127mins approx.

The Butler is set within the tumultuous political backdrop of 20th century all-powerful America. The epic drama relates the true story of the White House Black butler on Capitol Hill, who serves during seven presidential administrations in White House between 1957 to 1986. 

The name of the original real-life butler is Eugene Allen. As expected, an oath of secrecy might be in place, hence no authorised autobiography.

Slow, meandering, and emotional, the film follows the changes of the Butler’s family, the changing tides of American politics and of course the full spectrum, tragic consequences of race relations and politics as the backdrop are highlighted. 

MALCOLM X

Rated: 15

Running Time: 194 mins approx.

A vivid concise portrayal of the life and times of the controversial intellectual man and freedom fighter, Malcolm X. An individual who rose up from among the dregs and rejects of society. Spent time in prison, where he began to re-educate himself, and through spiritual enlightenment was able to discover his true worth, including his humanity among the human family.

A truly majestic movie, going deep below the surface, in order to show us and bring to life a very serious episode in the struggle for personal and collective redemption. Only to face extreme barriers, due to subtle persuasions and the cunning of the enemy within.

RAY

Rated 15

Running Time: 2hrs 26mins approx.

Like so many glittering stars of stage performance and music recording among the African American communities, Ray Charles, from a humble beginning, rose to international fame and stardom during the time of apartheid – Jim Crow – in the USA.

He overcame impossible obstacles and barriers and changed the sound and face of music all over the world. His life and story for this film, is a winner of 2 Academy awards and nominated for another 4. Ray is truly extraordinary and inspiring story of triumph over adversity. 

Entertaining and unforgettable, Ray is a movie to watch over and over again, combining an excellent story and visuals of the times, world class acting, beautiful people and the authentic music to soothe soul, mind, and body. Those were the days of love and roses in all colours.

CITY OF MEN

Rated: 18

Running Time: 270mins approx.

Following on from the success of the feature length film ‘City of God.’  The dynamic TV series ‘City of Men’ – ‘Cidade Dos Homens’ series 1 & 2, is set in a notorious Rio slum, and filmed on location utilising local actors to capture the gritty realism of Brazilian street life.

The screenplay and story follow the life and adventures of two teenage boys ‘Laranjinha’ and ‘Acerola’, as they struggle to grow-up surrounded by poverty and the lucrative temptations offered by the drug trade.

The real living and life of Afro-Latinos throughout Spanish and Portuguese South America is little known, even among African people worldwide. It is not about language, but more to do with isolation, lack of representation at all levels of society, including official government chair and offices.

For all who have not seen it, the ‘City of Men’ a short TV series is the ultimate introduction for viewers to the realities of that world. The raw truth about Black Latinos is there for all to see. There are tens of millions there, throughout Latin America, check to be sure, if in doubt.

THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND

Rated: 15

Running Time: 117 mins approx.

This film is about the life of dictator Idi Amin in Uganda, a state on the continent of Africa, as related and seen through the eyes of a young man from Scotland. Who becomes the personal physician of the volatile unstable political leader.

Seduced by Amin’s charismatic charm and blinded by opulence, hedonism and decadence, the Scotsman’s dream life becomes a nightmare of betrayal and madness. The screenplay, inspired and scripted from the stories of real people who were eyewitnesses and present during the time of events on screen. The film is gripping stuff, feels and look real.

However, the subplots hints and suggest there is a lot more than what meets the eye. Suggestive tips are foreign government involvement in the plots, able to tip the balance of power in their own court. A powerful tale about the crisis in African political leadership then and now. And the nations continue to suffer the consequences.

RED TAILS

Rated: 12

Running Time: 120mins approx.

The production team was inspired by the real-life adventures of the first African American flying combat unit, to serve in World War 2. The story highlights the high-flying Red Tails squadron of Black pilots.

We are in Italy, 1944, the war takes its toll on the allied forces in Europe, the Tuskegee Airmen are finally given the chance to prove themselves in the sky, even as they battle racial discrimination on the ground.

With great visual effects, the film is a reminder and tribute to all the African American airmen and heroes, who gave their efforts and lives to secure a certain freedom, from a more terrifying unknown oppression. A breath-taking movie delivered through George Lucas. Thanks again and again.

SMALL ISLAND

Rated: 15

Running Time: 174mins approx.

Hortense Joseph arrives in bombed-out London in 1948 to live with her husband Gilbert. With her whole life in a suitcase, she is dismayed to find London to be far from the city of her dreams. 

Hortense is not alone in her disappointment, her white landlady reflects on her unhappy marriage, while Gilbert status, even in air force uniform, renders him as second class on the social ladder, generated surprise, resentment, and complexes.

Sentimental and full of compassion, it is a courageous attempt to show the deep colonial relationship between Europe, specifically Britain and the Caribbean Island.  The Windrush scandals and the contrived hostile environments, are the tips of the Iceberg. The conspiracy theories out there on social media are claiming so many things. Can you believe it, where is the proof? Or is it just from specialised secret groups?

12 YEARS A SLAVE

Rated 15

Running Time: 125 mins approx.

It is 1841, and a free Black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. Stripped of his identity and deprived of all dignity, he is purchased by a ruthless plantation owner. Where he must hide his true abilities and qualities to stay alive. Yes. It was all recorded, it was just like that, believe it. Inhumane. Research the nature of the slave masters and mistresses.

Finding strength within to survive, in his twelfth year in captivity, a chance meeting with a Canadian abolitionist alters his life. The aftermath of modern slavery, lasting more than four hundred years, is deep into the psyche of us all. The legacy continues, even to depths and levels of the unconscious in both Black & White.

DJANGO – UNCHAINED 

Rated 18

Running Time: 2hrs 39mins approx.

Written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, Jamie Foxx stars as Django, a slave who teams up with a bounty hunter, to find the South’s most wanted killers. In return, the bounty hunter promises to buy Django’s freedom and assist to find his lost wife.

Their search leads them to ‘Candyland’, they arouse the suspicions of Candies trusted house slave. From there the story turns uglier, with the full spectrum of slave plantation living, excessive violence, and Django struggles and fight for freedom, in the style of the old western movies. Gripping! A symbol of Black redemption against all odds.  

AMISTAD

Rated: 15

Running Time: 2hrs 28mins approx.

Steven Spielberg’s debut film for the launch of new project ‘DreamWorks’ Amistad was nominated for 4 Academy Awards. Taken from real life, the story chronicles the incredible journey of a group of enslaved Africans, who took over the slave ship they were chained on, in the attempt to return home.

When the ship ‘La Amistad’ were seized by the authorities, three captives were brought to the United States of America, where they were charged with murder, awaiting their fate locked behind bars in prison.

An enthralling legal battle began, shaking the heavy foundations of the American Justice system. Catching, and captivating the attention of the entire nation. But for the people of African origin on trial, it is simply a fight for the basic rights of the human and all mankind; to be free! The Film Reviewer.