Film

Ava DuVernay’s Array Releases 'Ayanda' & 'Out Of My Hand' On Netflix

South African drama 'Ayanda' and Liberian migrant film 'Out Of My Hand' from Ava DuVernay's Array collective are now streaming on Netflix.

Fulu Mugovhani in Ayanda 


Two of our favorite movies of last year made their Netflix debuts this week.

If you recall, Ayanda and Out Of My Hand were simultaneously picked up in the latter part of 2015 by Ava DuVernay’s Array, a Los Angeles-based arts collective dedicated to propelling films made by women and people of color.

Sara Blecher’s South African drama Ayanda centers around the coming-of-age story of a 21-year-old woman in Johannesburg (played by Fulu Mugovhani) as she fights to save the car repair shop she’s inherited from her late father. Okayafrica’s Patrice Peck calls the film “as ambitious, stylish and audacious as the 21-year-old ‘Afro-hipster’ for whom the movie is named.”

Takeshi Fukunaga’s Out Of My Hand follows one man’s journey from a Liberian rubber plantation to the “Little Liberia” community of Staten Island, New York, where he’s haunted by ghosts of his wartime past. Okayafrica’s Aaron Leaf calls it the anti-Beasts of No Nation: “a movie about child soldiers that, in a refreshing twist on the genre, has no scenes of child soldiering.”

Ayanda and Out Of My Hand are available for streaming on Netflix as of January 19, 2016. Watch trailers for both films below. For more titles from the streaming service, check out our latest Netflix round-up here.

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Photo by KOLA SULAIMON/AFP via Getty Image

#EndSARS: 1 Year Later And It's Business As Usual For The Nigerian Government

Thousands filled the streets of Nigeria to remember those slain in The #LekkiTollGateMassacre...while the government insists it didn't happen.

This week marks 1 year since Nigerians began protests against police brutality and demanded an end to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The #EndSARS protests took the world by storm as we witnessed Nigerian forces abuse, harass and murder those fighting for a free nation. Reports of illegal detention, profiling, extortion, and extrajudicial killings followed the special task force's existence, forcing the government to demolish the unit on October 11th, 2020. However, protestors remained angered and desperate to be heard. It wasn't until October 20th, when soldiers opened fire on demonstrators at Lekki tollgate in the country's capital, Lagos, that the protests came to a fatal end. More than 56 deaths from across the country were reported, while hundreds more were traumatized as the Nigerian government continued to rule by force. The incident sparked global outrage as the Nigerian army refused to acknowledge or admit to firing shots at unarmed protesters in the dead of night.

It's a year later, and nothing has changed.

Young Nigerians claim to still face unnecessary and violent interactions with the police and none of the demands towards systemic changes have been met. Fisayo Soyombo the founder of the Foundation for Investigative Journalism, told Al Jazeera, "Yes, there has not been any reform. Police brutality exists till today," while maintaining that his organization has reported "scores" of cases of police brutality over this past year.

During October 2020's protests, Nigerian authorities turned a blind eye and insisted that the youth-led movement was anti-government and intended to overthrow the administration of current President Muhammadu Buhari. During a press conference on Wednesday, in an attempt to discredit the protests, Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed hailed the Nigerian army and police forces for the role they played in the #EndSARS protests, going as far as to say that the Lekki Toll Massacre was a "phantom massacre with no bodies." These brazen claims came while protesters continued to gather in several major cities across the country. The minister even went on to shame CNN, Nigerian favorite DJ Switch as well as Amnesty International, for reporting deaths at Lekki. Mohammed pushed even further by saying, "The six soldiers and 37 policemen who died during the EndSARS protests are human beings with families, even though the human rights organizations and CNN simply ignored their deaths, choosing instead to trumpet a phantom massacre."

With the reports of abuse still coming out of the West African nation, an end to the struggle is not in sight. During Wednesday's protest, a journalist for the Daily Post was detained by Nigerian forces while covering the demonstrations.

According to the BBC, additional police units have been set up in the place of SARS, though some resurfacing SARS officers and allies claim to still be around.

Young Nigerians relied heavily on social media during the protests and returned this year to voice their opinions around the first anniversary of an experience that few will be lucky enough to forget.



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