Super 16 [Take II]: African Short Films to Watch

supwe-16

Super 16 is back after a short hiatus. On this edition we showcase four short films from the continent and beyond that you should watch now! In no particular order, here are some of the short films from across the country that we enjoyed watching over the past month. They represent the growing quality of african short films and we are happy to share them with you.

For those of you who are not aware of what Super 16 is, you can read the first edition to get a sense or dive right in!

 

Hitman

5 mins

(2015, Sudan)

Dir: Sami Elgalabi

Sudanese director Sami Elgalabi brings the scenes from the animated video Hitman to life with this short film, where the notorious mercenary goes on a mission to save his wife who has been taken hostage by his employers. The film does well to translate some of the tension of a hostage scene in the camera angles as well as the colouring of the film. However, ultimately, what draws a viewer to this short are the special effects, as the character in the game is known for his clinical shooting skills. Sudanese Hitman definitely gets it right with very creative use of visual effects and slow motion to bring the gun scenes to life. It also places the character accurately in the Sudanese context.

 

Salt

(2015, Nigeria)

Dir: Umar Turaki

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa set the whole subregion into a state of panic and distress as everyone was afraid of contracting this ruthless and often fatal diseases. Dozens of measures and half-truths circulated as governments and anxious citizens attempted to control the spread of the disease wreaking havoc. In Nigeria, Umar Turaki portrays a personal experience as the disease was reported to have been discovered in Nigeria. In Salt, the viewer is presented with the same weight of anxiety and uncertainty that Nigerians bore upon hearing about Ebola. The cast do well to accurately depict that range of feelings they experienced that night. Based on a personal experience, Umar Turaki’s film is a decent examination of the nature of concern for a person and how it can translate into annoyance, whilst exposing the fractures in the Nigerian health services.

Becky’s Journey

24 mins

(2014, Nigeria/Denmark)

Dir: Sine Plambech

The only documentary on this edition of Super 16 is an epic! A woman from Nigeria narrates her two failed attempts to make it to Europe in a heartfelt and empathetic manner. Becky takes you through the motive for her travel as well as the disappointment she suffered. In this film, the viewer get an inside look on the topic of migration, be it legal or illegal. Thousands of migrant leave the continent each year to find work in Europe as they attempt to escape from poverty, conflict and themselves. It is quite hard to watch Becky’s Journey without reacting to the story as it causes you to feel exactly how this brave women felt through out her epic journey of lies, fraud, deceit, death and survival.

Where Are We

15 mins

(2016, Guyana/New York)

Dir: Kwesi Abbensetts

The year 2016 was a year that inspired a lot of artistic work due to the nature and controversy of the events that went on during it. Be it political, social, economic, these events have definitely made creatives more aware and receptive to how such issues like the US election unfold and how we should react to them. Photographer and filmmaker Kwesi Abbensetts in his surrealist film Where Are We engages in a loose stream of thought about such existential topics. Everything from the power of Beyoncé to nature are tackled as he portrays a black woman who seems to be attracted to nature. She is drawn towards trees and flowers but flees from everything else. Where Are We is an art film that compels the viewer to see more than a black women and react to what the narrator talks about.

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