Thursday, May 30, 2024

Once Upon a Time in Uganda (2023) movie review.

Taking place over many years, Once Upon a Time in Uganda focuses on the experiences of Alan and Isaac, although the former can sometimes be less affecting, even with all his defensiveness. Czubek’s take wrestles with the central problem in his tale, a critical moment when the friendship breaks down after Isaac agrees to make a TV series out of Who Killed Captain Alex? with a Ugandan media mogul. Alan sees it as a kind of betrayal. Even though they live next to each other, they don’t speak for weeks. Part of it seems to be miscommunication, which is hard to make a good drama out of, and also Alan’s insistence on keeping Wakaliwood within his definition of purity. Money can destroy good ideas, as Hollywood knows, which makes Wakaliwood even more of a powerful microcosm for Czubek’s ode to filmmaking. But this problem makes for a good scene in which the two friends and associates eventually talk and can’t see eye to eye, a bolder and bleaker moment compared to the usual fictional chaos in Isaac’s films.

It’s also rewarding and helpful when this doc addresses some of the “criticisms” Isaac’s cinema can face, especially for those who see Who Killed Captain Alex? outside the context of love that this movie offers. “Once Upon a Time in Uganda” expresses Isaac’s point of view—”They’re action in a comedy way”—as Alan compares them to the Road Runner cartoons, mocking anyone who thinks Isaac should do something more dramatic to t was taken seriously. . In a reflective, tactfully incorporated moment, Isaac talks about the real horrors he saw in Uganda in the 80s after the fall of Idi Amin, then directs a child to play his younger self running away from the violence. But he also tells us that he doesn’t want to make movies about such real horror, at least not yet. “This is a different story for Africa,” he says.

While espousing the importance of Wakaliwood with equal adulation and clarity, Once Upon a Time in Uganda maintains a personal POV that offers more than an outsider’s fear, though Alan’s arc of lust just doesn’t compare to Isaac’s. done and is doing. But while some passages of the doc may be less emotionally involved than others, its surf-guitar-fueled montages of Isaac making yet another daring film are always invigorating. Once Upon a Time in Uganda is the defense that Isaac’s authority and ideology most need—this document helps one reassess filmmaking as a compelling, creative odyssey, a shot-by-shot pursuit of inner peace. incomprehensible.

Now plays in theaters.

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HomeReviewsOnce Upon a Time in Uganda (2023) movie review.

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