Mami Wata

2023

Action / Drama / Fantasy / Thriller

4
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 100% · 36 reviews
IMDb Rating 6.6/10 10 385 385

Top cast

720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
987.62 MB
1280*792
Afrikaans 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 47 min
Seeds 8
1.79 GB
1744*1080
Afrikaans 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 47 min
Seeds 16

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by JvH48 8 / 10

Interesting view on African folklore. Good storytelling and no time to be bored. Modern trends take over some of the time, yet not always for the better

Saw this at the Imagine filmfestival 2023 in Amsterdam. For starters, I want to overlook the black&white photography and the obligatory non-standard format, which I always connect with: Watch Me Being Different or telling us: This Means Something. Such outward appearances yield minus points with me. So, despite several reasons to score a 5/5 for the audience award when leaving the venue, I gave a 4/5 (good, but not excellent).

Luckily, there is ample compensation. Many good things lie in the storytelling. Out of a seemingly predictable plot, something very useful is made. Take a warlord misleading a village, by promising hospitals and schools to let them give him all their possessions, after which he buys weapons instead. The story is told in a way that is compelling and constantly moving forward. I'm not sure how the film makers did it, but it worked on me, despite being a certified nerd and mostly ignorant for atmosphere.

The full film title "Mami Wata: A West African Folklore" emphasizes the central role of folklore, call it superstition if you like. It makes the movie much more interesting. Do not forget that superstition is in the eye of the beholder, so the word is not used in a demeaning way. Our western religions can also be considered a superstition variant, albeit we never think of it that way. For example, the average inhabitant of the African continent, who learns about the Christian faith, is inevitably surprised about a son of God letting himself be killed on the cross, obviously something no real God can ever allow to happen. The latter is not a topic in the movie at hand. I only wrote about it alongside this movie, when it triggered associated thoughts that certainly contributed to my appreciation.

The would-be warlord, mentioned above, devises a scheme to get rid of our main protagonist. He thereby tries to avoid an uprisal of the village, inevitable when directly killing her. He creates a challenge, something she cannot possibly survive. Luckily, she gets help and thus overcomes his dangerous scheme. Later, when he is confronted with the rightful question where the promised schools and hospitals are, her sudden live appearance undermines his once powerful position. He winds up having all the weapons he dreamt of, but suddenly facing a phenomenon beyond the reach of his guns and bullets.

All in all, it is always interesting to delve into the beliefs and traditions of other continents. What we call folklore or superstition, has other roots than our traditions we have here. Still, none are to be deemed merely primitive, and thus ripe for modernization or even dismissal. A movie like this enlarges the differences, not to dismiss other cultures, but only to let us look in the mirror and get a better insight in what we harbor here as integral part of our civilization.

Reviewed by / 10

Reviewed by alisonc-1 8 / 10

Magical, Hypnotic and Beautiful to See

Mama Efe (Rita Edochie) is the Intermediary for the village of Iyi and the Goddess Mami Wata, but she is unable to prevent the death of a small child or, indeed, other calamities. Some villagers want to be rid of her, because they know that other villages have modernized, with electricity, schools, hospitals and roads, but other villagers are content to follow the ways of Mama Efe. When a young man is cast up on the sands of the ocean, near-dead, Mama Efe and her daughters Zinwe (Uzoamaka Aniunoh) and Prisca (Evelyne Ily) bring him back to health, but he repays them with evil, not good. And finally, the women must call upon Mami Wata for aid or face utter destruction....

I saw this at Montreal's great FantAsia Festival, and it is a breath-taking film to absorb; done in black-and-white, with intricate facial decorations, seashell adornments and gorgeous images of the sea, the land and the people, the story itself re-creates a mythological realm, where present and past and future all commingle; the ending of the tale brought tears to my eyes (but I won't spoil it by telling you why). There's not a lot of film from Africa that comes to North America in general, so I don't know how available this might be; but it is utterly beautiful to look at and utterly heart-filling to see.

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