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African Films at Sundance 2013

First in a series of previews and reviews of African-directed and African-themed films at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.


1. Mother of George | dir. Andrew Dosunmu (U.S. Dramatic)

Nigerian-born filmmaker Andrew Dosunmu is cranking them out. He was at Sundance in 2011 with his first feature Restless City and his latest (also photographed by the inimitable cinematographer Bradford Young) was developed as part of the 2005 Sundance Directors and Screenwriters Labs. Mother of George is the story of Adenike (Danai Gurira), who has come to the U.S. to join her fiancee Ayodele (Iaach De Bankolé), a restaurant-owner in Brooklyn. Charting her shift from hopeful arrivant into a woman determined to hold on to the traditions and values of home by any means necessary, the film adds to a growing body of émigre stories by artists negotiating life in the U.S. (the plot summary reads like an E.C. Osondu story). Listen to Dosunmu's thoughts on the film here click the link in the title for more details.

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Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

ProVerb’s Memoir Is A Huge Slap In The Face To South African Hip-Hop

In his memoir, one of South Africa's revered lyricists ProVerb and his co-author compromise his rich story with trite motivational talk.

The Book of Proverb

ProVerb has had a strange relationship with the SA hip-hop scene. Albeit being one of the most gifted lyricists the country has ever seen, he has grown to flow less and hustle more. Despite this, his name still comes up when the greatest (South) African rappers of all time are mentioned. MTV Base placed him as the 7th in their list of the greatest SA MCs of all time in 2018 for example.

The rapper-turned-media personality dedicates a paragraph of his memoir, The Book of Proverb, to explaining his complicated relationship with hip-hop. "Although I built my brand as a hip-hop artist, I never enjoyed full support or success from it," he writes. "Music is and always will remain a pass ion, but it stopped being viable when it stopped making business sense to me. If I was given more support, I might continue, but for now, I'll focus on my other hustles."

On the cover of the book which was released towards the end of 2020 by Penguin, Verb is wearing a charcoal blazer and sporting a white ball cap, so one can be forgiven for getting into it expecting both sides of his story. This memoir, however, is too vague to be a worthy read if you aren't necessarily reading to get motivated but to be simply informed and inspired.

While a few of The Book of ProVerb's chapters touch on his rap career, most of the book is about ProVerb the man, personality and businessman. Not so much one of the country's finest lyricists. This omission is a huge slap in the face for his fans and SA hip-hop fans in general.

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Filmmaker Akinola Davies Jr Explores the Sweet Spot Between Nollywood & Hollywood

Winner of the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, London-based Nigerian filmmaker Akinola Davies Jr speaks about his experimental film 'Lizard', what belonging looks like and the overlap between Hollywood and Nollywood.