Bad Black

Bad Black ★★★★

YES! Yes. An ultra low-budget Baganda made, village-wide effort of hilarious, smart, exploitation action cinema. Purely itself. Of, for, and by the people of Uganda.

I have to talk about this from a personal place. I already think I mention this shit too much, but it's a huge part of my life and I certainly can't not mention it here.

In 2007 I spent a little more than a month in Northern Uganda's Acholiland interviewing people, mostly children, involved in the war between the LRA and the Ugandan People's Defence force.

With that research I, a mazunga, came back to the States and made action comic books designed to "accidentally" educate American Call Of Duty gamer kids about East African politics.

The comic book is called UNKNOWN SOLDIER. I'm proud of the work we did, we won a bunch of awards and got a lot of critical praise and I ended up going to Iraq and South Sudan and Pakistan because of it and it changed my life, but I will never be able to shake the feeling that I committed some kind of cultural sin of appropriation with that book.

Now this comes along. Finally, as God intended it, locals telling their own action stories (a different ethnic group than I was involved with, but still Ugandans - we can have a discussion about how "Ugandan", as an identity, is a post colonial construct, but let's save that for another time).

A whole village making boisterous global post-Third cinema action movies filled with spirit and joy, coming together as one community of creativity under the direction of Nabwana IGG. Hong Kong, Indian, and American action films all get fed into the cross-cultural blender and come out the other end uniquely, beautifully Ugandan.

If you haven't seen this, I can't really explain to you what it's like to watch it. You just have to search it out, but no lie, Wakaliwood is something very special and authentic and you should absolutely clue into it as soon as you can.

Joshua liked these reviews