Abba MakamaNigeria102 minutes2016ColourEnglish
A group of young bohemian artists hang out and search for direction in their lives in the stagnant months leading up to the beginning of their university studies, in this richly textured and frequently funny look at Lagos’ new generation.
Hip, modern, and bursting with creative energy, this is the look of young Lagos. Uzoma (Ifeanyi Dike) and his friends are on the cusp of adulthood, feeling directionless in those stagnant months before the beginning of their university studies. They spend their days playing videogames or competing in impromptu yab-offs, improvised insult matches where the quip that gets the most laughs determines the winner. They're conscious of the varied cultures of Nigeria's Igbo, Hausa, and Yoruba ethnic groups, but they're as likely to play those for laughs as for beef.
These young bohemians are also artists: painters and filmmakers looking to hone their crafts and tap into their own reservoirs of inspiration. Self-taught painter Uzoma struggles to sell his work on the street, and will readily wait all day at a local art gallery for a chance to speak with the owner. Baba (Jamal Ibrahim) experiments with his first short film, even if the set is just his own backyard. If inexperience is a barrier, then persistence and fearless ambition are their secret weapons. It's a can-do way of life that feels perfectly Lagosian; these guys are right at home in this city whose population of 21 million is always on the go.
Richly textured, funny, and a bit cheeky, Green White Green presents a cityscape reminiscent of a Spike Lee joint, with its vivid colours and vivacious inhabitants. In this metropolis as envisioned by debut filmmaker Abba Makama, creativity is at the centre of identity. When imagination means freedom, art is the tool for achieving youthful empowerment.