By Talia Basma
Directed by Hiro Murai
Who would have thunk it? Amazon released Guava Island and only had 55 minutes to leave an impact. And the best thing is they accomplished their mission.
The movie is about a man named Deni Maroon and his love interest Kofi Novia. It starts off as an innocent love story with animated little kids. Young Deni is doing what he can to woo the young Kofi. Their story shifts and jumps a huge leap in time from children to adults. Deni is still trying to write Kofi the perfect song, but suddenly their love is not at the forefront, it is established and the focus is now on Deni trying to defy the tyrant Red Cargo. Deni sings jingles for the Cargo company but he also wants to host a party. A party for the people with music and dancing. Red Cargo does not approve. This story is about tension between the little people and the world of mass production/consumerism.
The film is short but personally it left such an impact I watched it twice in one week. People have continuously talked about how representation matters. This movie is proof. I felt so good seeing African American actors and people of color filling up the screen. It took me back to my trips to Sierra Leone where nature is breathtaking but the people are being restricted from growth. The story covered love without focusing on toxic relationships and also expressing your passions. I don’t want to spoil the ending but I think the last 5-10 minutes are the most impactful. Kofi’s poise and grace in the face of oppression is nothing short of inspiring. The movie is just right for a night summer watch with family or friends.