MAMI WATA is a beautiful black and white fable that needs to be seen on a big screen.
Telling the story of a village that is watched over by the goddess Mama Wata. Her wishes are determined by two women in the village. When a boy dies and a stranger appears the village begins to question the ways of the past.
Formally staged with deliberateness that you see in some of the world’s great art, MAMI WATA transcends its seeming theatrical construction and moves instead into the realm of cinematic myth. This is a fairy tale brought to life on the big screen. It goes from something seemingly simply and stagey into something breathing and alive. It is an arresting work of cinema.
All hail director CJ “Fiery” Obasi. Using high contrast black and white photography he has created a living painting. His sense of light and dark reminds me a great deal of the work of artist Frank Miller whose graphic work like Sin City made us rethink about how light and dark can change the world. Here Obasi uses the lack of color to create a waking dream that becomes more real and more enveloping as it goes along.
I was floored, at first by the images I was seeing and later by how deeply I was moved by them.
This film is a cinematic treat