|Shell shocked-Ibanda acting (from his FB page)|
How often, after 2 am in the morning, does a movie make you sit bolt up right? Shocked, thrilled, barely able to contain yourself! Texting people phone messages with more exclamation marks than full stops? !!! that do not even begin to express the energy coursing through you because of what you are watching on the screen before you, replaying it over to make sure you have really seen what you think you saw?
I came close, I suspect, on Saturday morning, to knowing what a broke-as-hell, always frequenting Majestic Plaza musician looking for his or her break feels the first time-perhaps in a taxi, seated at the back, lost in thought, realises a radio station blaring in the taxi is playing their song for the very first time. With a suppressed whoop of delight, barely able to hold it together because...that’s my song! That’s my song...that’s me...that’s on the radio...they are playing my song!
I came close to that and I wasn’t even watching something of mine. I was watching something of all of us-Ugandans. In a Hollywood movie, no small, Indie art for DVD store movie either, was Uganda! A clip of Uganda and it was being presented by Ugandans I have met; Ugandans I know-two of them actually can be found at the Uganda National Theatre on many days of the week. A clip of a movie they had acted in, was being talked about by huge Hollywood actresses in one of the best movies of 2010, The Kids Are Alright.
Can you understand my first whoop of delight?
|Ibanda is an acting and dancing talent|
The movie clip that came on, and that Annette Bening and Julianne Moore’s characters in The Kids Are Alright that were discussing, was from a little known (to Ugandans at least, sadly. More embarrasingly, I can't even link the movie because it does not seem to have a working website online!) movie that recreated some of the harrowing experiences tourists visiting Uganda went through when they were abducted by fleeing Interahamwe rebels on their way into the Congo. At the time musician Yoyo lent me his copy of the movie to watch, it was titled Kidnapped though he warned me the title might change. In The Kids Are Alright, this movie was being referred to as Locked Up Abroad.
The clip Nic (Annette Bening) and Jules (Julianne Moore) are watching on their player late in the night lasts about two minutes. But what two blazing minutes!!!
In the clip of this movie set in Uganda selected, Samuel Prince Ibanda is a crazed rebel leader’s lieutenant who is shouting at a terrified tourist, “You want to die? You want to die?!” Almost poking out that tourist’s eye with the edge of a very scary looking long knife that you know Ibanda’s character does not keep just for slicing open fruit he picks in the forest they trudge through.
It is worth getting The Kids Are Alright simply to watch the effect of that clip that places Uganda on a global stage in a way it has not had a chance to be since The Last King of Scotland.
In this movie Yoyo and Samuel Ibanda, as the dreaded Interahamwe rebels, shone. Really shone! The clip in The Kids Are Alright brought it all crashing back to me just how good they had been.
|Staring down the devil-from Yoyo's FB page|
Unfortunately there is an unfortunately... While watching this clip, Nic (Annette Bening) casually tells Jules (Julianne Moore), “Remind me never to take the kids to Morocco or Uganda.” Unspoken is the elephant in the room generalisation...because in Africa scary rebels are waiting behind every clump of bush to kidnap Americans...anyone white...(Uganda is not like that, really).
FULL DISCLOSURE: If you are not comfortable with the depiction of lesbian love in art, in movies, The Kids Are Alright is not for you. There is lots of sex!