JAN 2015 NEWS
IF IT'S ON THE WEB, BLEEK IS SEARCHING IT OUT...
'Best of the Web' hopes to bring you all the weird and wonderful web offerings that BLEEK stumbles upon whilst on our travels!
'An African City' puts Ghana in the Spotlight - Nicole Amarteifio
Written, produced and directed by Ghanaian entrepreneur Nicole Amarteifio, 'An African City' charts the ups and downs of American-African returnees to their native homelands. Set in Ghana, but featuring a cast who's characters have roots in Nigeria and Kenya too, it has a style reminiscent of Sex and the City, in that there's the sex obsessed one, the naïve innocent one and the romantic dreamer to name a few; only the comic writing isn't as good & the acting leaves something to be desired.
I decided to give it a chance though and used the rule of testing new anime series, that is, "watch at least 3 before making a decision". Seeing as they are only 15mins long I watched 6 in total to give it a fair chance, but I can't say in drew me in or had that 'binge watch' factor to it.
Nevertheless, this IS an amateur production, it can't be judged by the same standards as a major television series, with their teams of writers and budget for fancy production and a more experienced cast.
What I do enjoy about this series is the education in modern Ghanaian culture, relationships and society as the ladies talk about everything from job hunting, make-up to relationship troubles, with a heavy slant on the relationship troubles - although I found the 3rd episode a little ridiculous; they complain about things like snoring and sweating, when everything else about the guy is near 'perfect' - it kind of tells you why they have so much trouble finding a partner if a man is black-listed for relatively unimportant reasons, rather than the content of his character, compatibility of intelligence and personality.
They touch briefly on issues such as having natural hair, skin bleaching and the antiquated patriarchy that exists, but I'm not sure how much further these themes will develop as the slant seems to be heavily on relationship issues.
Main Cast from left to right: Esosa E, Nana Mensah, MaameYaa Boafo, Maame Adjei & Marie Humbert
Overall I can't say I'll be watching this series regularly, it's no 'Awkward Black Girl', which had me desperate for the next episode, but I do envision dipping in now and then when feeling in the need of some easy watching. I think the writer could do with some help with her comic writing to really make this story snap, and the actors a masterclass in basic techniques! But it's worth a watch, especially if you want to know more about modern Ghanaian culture, just don't expect it to be the new Black Sex & the City.
Web Series 'Polyglot ' - Amelia Umuhire
"Polyglot" - A Person who knows and is able to use several Languages.
Amelia Umuhire is the brainchild behind YouTube web series 'Polyglot' which seeks to challenge preconceived notions of Afro-European lives - aka stereotypes and racist attitudes towards people of non European descent living in Europe. Amelia is visual artist and self taught film-maker of Rwandan-German origin, who speaks German, English, French, and Kinyarwanda, the very definition of a Polyglot.
The first episode follows Babiche Papaya, a rapper and poet played by Umuhire’s sister, Amanda Mukasonga, as she tries to find herself an affordable 'Altbau-Wohnung' - an apartment in an old building.
The series as a whole looks at the lives of other Polyglot's living in Berlin as they try to carve out a space in a society that marginalises them and assumes they do not know the language of the country they call home.
It's beautifully shot, there's something delicate and bleak about the production as we ride along with Babiche while she meets potential new flat mates.
Many of the shots are in close quarters with her unusual and beautiful face, all with Berlin's sprawling metropolis in the background; but she could be in any major city, perhaps reflecting my own views on urban areas, which to me demonstrate high density living, a disconnect from nature, but also where culture is mashed together remixed and reborn.
I really enjoyed the first episode and will be catching up with the rest when I get the chance.
The Polyglot series is available on YouTube now.
Short Film Sundays - Issae Rae Presents a New Web Showcase
Issa Rae takes time out from producing her TV adaptation of her web series Awkward Black Girl (ABG) to host a new series on her YouTube channel with the hashtag shortfilmsundays
The first offering features Ladylike, written by Tiffany Johnson and Nicholas Williams. It tells the story of friendship between two women with a penchant for American 50s fashion and a knack for revenge.
You'll love Ladylike and will love Issa Rae more for providing a platform for new and emerging talent.
#shortfilmsundays looks to be a nice new addition to our BLEEK On Screen section.