Need new Netflix recommendations? Tired of same old stereotypical depictions of Africans in Hollywood? Your, Coming to America VHS finally gave up on you? Well not to worry because below are some great African movies to satisfy every need!
Difret is an Ethiopian movie based on real life events. It focuses on the case of Aberash Bekele (renamed as Hirut Assefa in the movie) who was 14 when she was abducted and raped then subsequently murdered her rapist in self-defense. It also focuses on Meaza Ashenafi, the founder of the Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association, who acted as Hirut’s lawyer and defender throughout the movie. The movie tackles multiple issues with an emphasis on the issue of Women’s rights in Ethiopia, and one might extend that to the rest of the African continent. Difret is great for people interested in Women’s rights, especially in African countries, and if you’re looking for real life badass sheros to emulate.
- Road to Yesterday
Featuring one of my favorite Nigerian actresses, Genevieve Nnaji, Road to Yesterday is about a couple going through some trying times in their marriage. They decide to go to the village and en route their car breaks down. This allows for the couple to have time to discuss some of their deepest thoughts. But we, the audience, are left wondering if this reconciliation was a bit too late to save anyone.
Fifty follows a group of female friends who are all approaching the age of fifty, hence the title. They’re all in different stages of their lives and are going through different obstacles–issues with marriage, love, and each other. Things get messy and well…you should see for yourself. It’s a bit of an old tale but the cinematography, acting, and costuming are so great that it gives me a lot of hope for the future of Nollywood.
- October 1
October 1 is one of my favorite movies, period. It is based in colonial Nigeria, in a timeline that was quickly approaching Nigeria’s independence from Britain. Days before independence, a series of killings is noted in a Yoruba village, Akote. In order for the British to save face and avoid their reputation being tarnished they employ an infamous Hausa detective, Danladi Waziri, to solve the case before the official Independence day on October 1st. This movie is great on so many fronts. It sets a different tone from a lot of Nollywood films simply because of the attention to detail required of a period piece, and an onslaught of unknown actors that did a fantastic job in their individual roles. It tackles many different issues in Nigeria including tribalism, the effects of colonialism, and religion.
5. Flower girl
Flower girl is a cute romantic comedy that details the life of a young florist, Kemi, who is madly in love with her boyfriend Umar and is already planning and preparing for a wedding. However, Umar seems to be madly in love…with his career. This causes Kemi to seek the help of an actor to make Umar jealous and essentially push him to step up and take their relationship to the next level. But like so many romantic comedies, things don’t go quite as planned.
- Ties that bind
Grab your tissues because this movie is highkey depressing, but like…good depressing. Similar to “Fifty”, this movie revolves around a group of women who have a shared experience, in this case being the loss of a child. Throughout the film, we see how three women, in Ghana, from different walks of life interact and work together to run a clinic. We are exposed to their backstories, their concerns, wishes, obstacles and how they are able to provide a support system for each other. Featuring Nigerian, American and Ghanaian actresses–this film is an amalgamation of brilliance, heart and tears.
7. The Square
This Emmy award winning Egyptian documentary centers around the Egyptian protests at Tahrir Square, that began in 2011 due to the increasing awareness of police brutality and multiple other political issues in Cairo. It specifically follows some activists throughout the revolutionary journey and gives a better understanding of the root of the protests and its intersections with religion and class.
- Finding Mercy
Featuring Blossom Chukwujekwu, Finding Mercy is about a simple robbery plan gone awry, which causes a simple thief to become a kidnapper and…father? The film details the life of the thief and how he navigates life with his new daughter, whose name is “Mercy” while battling the old demons of his past.
9. The African Doctor
The African Doctor is a combination of comedy and harsh realities. It is about a Congolese doctor who desperately needs to gain French citizenship and therefore decides to work in a small French village. Frankly speaking, the village people are hella racist and rude. The film, which is based on a real-life story, shares all the various trials that the doctor and his family has to go through while assimilating into this new climate while still remaining true to themselves–African AF.
- Lies men tell
The plot of this movie is pretty simple; wives of cheating husbands are TIYAD of the BS and proceed to show their husbands PEPPE! Hilarity and drama ensue.
It’s not technically an African show but it chronicles the experiences of a weird, horny 1st generation Ghanaian American virgin who is looking to find love…and to lose her virginity, whichever one comes first really. We also meet her overly religious, and hilarious sister, her VERY African mother and the combination of all the other wacky characters on the show that makes for a great British comedy.
Confusion Na Wa
It’s a bit of a roller coaster of a movie and can be confusing at times, but this movie essentially indicates how lirrul lirrul events and actions can drastically change one’s life. Even an event as insignificant as a stolen phone.