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Awesome Longread by David Bertrand at Hazlitt about Wakaliwood, the no-too-new Movie-Industry from Uganda: Small But Supa Tough – Welcome to Wakaliwood, where rebellious, popular action films upheave classist Ugandan logic. Subverting narrow (and patronizing) western SJW-Ideas of cultural appropriation (which is actually not really nonsense, except, when it is) by making over-the-top DIY-Versions of our narrative tropes, they are directly selling our ideas back to us, filtered thru their own perspective. (via MeFi. Also, dunno why exactly: I feel very english language today.)
The Image to the right is the Teaser Poster for „Wakaliwoods upcoming cannibal epic, Eaten Alive in Uganda. Hand-painted by Ugandan artists on bark cloth (a natural fabric traditionally used as a burial shroud - we use it for painting!)“ I'd buy hundretthirtytwo of those, if they weren't sold out. Bummer.
Later, the Ugandans sip hot water with lemongrass while we mzungus drink Nescafé. On the shooting break, a group of “cannibals” huddle around a laptop I’d brought with me, watching John Wayne in Rio Bravo, their first exposure to the Duke. Nearby, children are keeping themselves entertained with a bloody decapitated prop head.
It’s just another night for the most unlikely of all cinema success stories: Wakaliwood, the DIY action film studio from the slums of Uganda that took over the Internet and made it plausible for anyone in the world to become an East African kung fu movie commando. Under the leadership of self-taught writer/director/editor/producer/SFX guru Nabwana Isaac Godfrey Geoffrey (known as Nabwana IGG) and his company Ramon Film Productions—named after his grandmothers Rachel and Monica, who raised and protected him through Uganda’s civil war—Wakaliwood makes movies for less than $200 US apiece. Their breakout hit—Who Killed Captain Alex? Uganda’s First Action Movie—is one of 40-plus feature films Nabwana has made so far, without access to running water, refrigeration, reliable electricity or dependable computers, way off the grid in the bustling dirt mazes of Wakaliga, a neighbourhood on the outskirts of Uganda’s equatorial capital city of Kampala.