restless city//andrew dosunmu


i've been somewhat enamored of andrew dosunmu ever since he dropped 'the african game,' a photo book about africa's love affair with football, with an exhibit and (still upcoming) documentary. restless city--a sort of new world tragic love story--is his first feature, made on an astonishing 80,000 dollar budget in six days. fashion guru and costume designer mobolaji and many of the cast members were on hand at the urbanworld film festival for a q&a.

'film is a visual medium,' dosunmu said. he was a slight man, in a pair of simple slacks and his ubiquitous cap. a photographer-turned-filmmaker, he directed a visual masterpiece. restless city was a bit light on story, but somehow the story became the art, walking us through a few weeks in the life of an immigrant who's simply trying to live and work and love.

it's the first movie i've ever seen that made me see the beauty in that struggle--not only in the men and women who go through it every day, but also in the magnitude of their desires.

i will be excited to see restless city in the theaters come december. it is a film i will watch again and again, borrowing visual cues for my own filmmaking. when my professors ask what directors i admire most, i have a hard time answering. i imagine someone who writes about africa and africans in a way that is not pedantic, self-serving poverty porn.

at least one i know for sure.

on a related note, dosunmu wrapped ma'george a couple weeks ago, with isaach de bankole, yaya decosta and danai gurira. the film’s synopsis reads: “torn between her African culture and new life in america, a woman struggles to please her husband and give him the son that will carry on his family’s legacy.” i've been begging my girl to send some set photos so i can post here; still begging. -- AL.

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