Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: Everything Else You've Wanted to Know About 'The Wire' - Cast Reunites for Hour-Long Chat Watch: Everything Else You've Wanted to Know About 'The Wire' - Cast Reunites for Hour-Long Chat TV Series Based on Queen of Salsa's Celia Cruz is Underway; Puertorican Actors Jeimy Osorio & Modesto Lacen Star TV Series Based on Queen of Salsa's Celia Cruz is Underway; Puertorican Actors Jeimy Osorio & Modesto Lacen Star Weekend B.O. Oct.17-19 - How Did 'Dear White People' Do and What Might it Mean? Weekend B.O. Oct.17-19 - How Did 'Dear White People' Do and What Might it Mean? Trailer Debut: 'Black Dynamite' Season 2 Arrives Trailer Debut: 'Black Dynamite' Season 2 Arrives Review: 'Mike Tyson Mysteries' Proves That Iron Mike Isn't Afraid to Dress Himself Down Review: 'Mike Tyson Mysteries' Proves That Iron Mike Isn't Afraid to Dress Himself Down Donald Glover Adds to Growing Film Slate - Joins Cast of Ridley Scott's Sci-Fi Thriller 'The Martian' Donald Glover Adds to Growing Film Slate - Joins Cast of Ridley Scott's Sci-Fi Thriller 'The Martian' It All Started at a BSU Meeting: Justin Simien on 'Dear White People', Raven-Symoné, and the Black Art House (Interview) It All Started at a BSU Meeting: Justin Simien on 'Dear White People', Raven-Symoné, and the Black Art House (Interview) Review: 'Dear White People' (A Cinematic Answer to the Year of the "Race-Themed" Film) Review: 'Dear White People' (A Cinematic Answer to the Year of the "Race-Themed" Film) The Cast of 'Drumline: A New Beat' Talk How the Original Movie Impacted Them The Cast of 'Drumline: A New Beat' Talk How the Original Movie Impacted Them Lifetime Releases First FULL Trailer for 'Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B' (Premieres Saturday, 11/15) Lifetime Releases First FULL Trailer for 'Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B' (Premieres Saturday, 11/15) Steve McQueen Goes With Newcomer Devon Terrell to Play the Lead in His HBO Project Steve McQueen Goes With Newcomer Devon Terrell to Play the Lead in His HBO Project In Wake of 'Gotham' Controversy Comes 'Painted Down' - New Doc Chronicling Struggles & Hard Fought Victories of Black Stunt People In Wake of 'Gotham' Controversy Comes 'Painted Down' - New Doc Chronicling Struggles & Hard Fought Victories of Black Stunt People 'Drumline: A New Beat' (Sequel to the 2002 Film) Gets a Premiere Date + New Trailer (Watch It) 'Drumline: A New Beat' (Sequel to the 2002 Film) Gets a Premiere Date + New Trailer (Watch It) Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Co-Screenwriter of 'Noah' Explains Why There Are No Black People Or POC In The Film Co-Screenwriter of 'Noah' Explains Why There Are No Black People Or POC In The Film Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) ABC Is Making Changes To The Next-Day Online Availability Of Its Series ABC Is Making Changes To The Next-Day Online Availability Of Its Series Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

New York African Film Fest 2013 Review: 'Boneshaker'

Shadow and Act By Zeba Blay | Shadow and Act April 12, 2013 at 3:25PM

In Ghanaian director Frances Bodomo’s Boneshaker, an African family journeys through rural Louisiana on a quest to rid a rebellious 7-year-old of the perceived evil spirits that have made her something of a problem child.
0
Boneshaker

In Ghanaian director Frances Bodomo’s Boneshaker, an African family journeys through rural Louisiana on a quest to rid a rebellious 7-year-old of the perceived evil spirits that have made her something of a problem child. 

Shot before the release of Benh Zeitlin’s Beasts of the Southern Wild, the 12-minute short opens on the precociously expressive face of Quvenzhané Wallis, screaming and frantically kicking her feet as her grandmother tries to calm her down in the backseat of the car. From this frenetic jumping off point, the film is a soulful visual meditation on the in-between-ness of the African immigrant experience.

It’s hard to say much about the film without ruining its magic, but in the pivotal “exorcism” scene young Quvenzhané proves that her Oscar-nominated performance in Beasts wasn’t just a fluke - the girl’s got talent. 

While brief in length, Boneshaker is dense, a complex tapestry of overlapping visuals and sound that join to create a sumptuous, almost other-worldly atmosphere.

Bodomo shot it on Super 16 film and the grainy, saturated images have given the narrative a sense of melancholy and nostalgia that seems altogether fitting for a film that seems at least partly about a longing for the past. 

“I wanted to capture the feeling of not being able to go back,” Bodomo explained after a screening of the film at the recent New York African Film Festival at Lincoln Center. But more importantly, Bodomo added, she wanted it to be a “universal story in an African context.” 

She most definitely succeeded.

Next up for Bodomo is Afronauts, a new short currently seeking funding on Kickstarter that is set to star Yolonda Ross and model Diandra Forrest. It will tell an alternative story of the 1960s space race, from the point-of-view of exiled Zambians attempting to beat America to the moon. 

If Boneshaker is anything to go by, it will be a refreshingly new and thought-provoking exploration of African identity.


Zeba Blay is a Ghanaian-born film and culture writer based in New York. She is a regular contributor to Huffington Post, Africa Style Daily, and Slant Magazine. She runs a personal movie blog, Film Memory, and co-hosts the podcast Two Brown Girls. Follow her on Twitter @zblay.

This article is related to: Frances Bodomo, Quvenzhané Wallis


Shadow & ActNewsletter