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Nakom

08 Dec

Nakom—directed by Kelley Daniela Morris and TW Pitman. Drama. 90 minutes Color 2016.

★★★★★
The Story: A medical student must leave the city to tend to his father’s estate and finds in that hometown the great seduction of success.
~ ~ ~

My justification for buffing films is to reach to the public library shelf and pluck off such a gem of fairest ray as this.

I had never head of Nakom. Had you?

It threw me into a world I never knew of nor would expect to see—the long drawn out farm country of Africa. Village life there. Country folk there. This is the farm land, not of the big ranches of the Boers and English, nor of the coffee plantations of Out Of Africa, nor of Tarzan’s jungle, but the hard red soil of the onion fields and the giant stalks of the millet plant.

Beautiful. Bare. Green.

Into it the man comes to bury his father who had died out of season. There he finds the family farm run by the skeptical, lazy, and incestuous. He must martial them into action and strategize a drought to plant the seeds, but not before their time.

We see such interesting humans, cranky and bossy and frightened and warm. But to me the whole world of it is what is strange and new. What is ordinary to them is to me exotic and strong. The glaring women’s clothes, the rudimentary shorts and t-shirts worn by the men. The dance celebration at the huge public funeral.

He takes charge but will he stay? Will be he lured, as I am lured?

But his drama appeals to me less than the beauty of his family, his people, the way they weed their wide bare fields, water those fields with punctured gas tanks, eat their dinners on dishes on the floor. The peaked houses, the world of that world.

It is the first film set in Africa that was not pestered by foreign actors. Canada Lee and Sidney Poitier are wonderful actors, but why drag them in from Manhattan to do Cry, The Beloved Country? Here I see an Africa which now for the first time I can believe in.

But here it is for you, and once again I am so enthusiastic I cannot sit still to tell you what you might very much want to know about this film. I can say that it is a film that will hold and delight anyone over eight years old. Or over eighty, which is what I happen to be.

Nakom is penetrating, helpful, engaging, tough, real, imaginative. It is wonderful to look at. And follow. It is that rare entertainment: it is simple at the same time as it is intelligent.

Do let me know I have convinced you.

Do let me know I am right.

Be like me. Be ravished.

 
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