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Review: Ayanda

BY OLAWALE OLUDAHUNSI

Ayanda follows a young lady, the titular character, on a journey of self discovery in a world of guilt, deceit and love. Her father died in his garage. To Ayanda’s dismay, Zuma, her uncle, wants to sell off the garage. With the help of David (OC Ukeje) and Zoum, her mechanics, she hopes to rebuild the business.

Well intended, but Ayanda has too many undeveloped storylines with little or no connection with the main plot. For example, a quarrel between David and his brother has no connection with anything else in the film. Ditto Zoum’s domestic issues.

A parallel plot involves a photographer doing a documentary to show another side of South Africa through a series of interviews with characters in the film. In the interview with Ayanda, she mentions getting across to David, with whom she has become estranged.  Subsequently, David is shown returning to school. But he was an illegal immigrant in preceding scenes. These scenes do not connect and are not chronological.

Since the movie had under-developed plots, the characters were undeveloped as well. It is needless for all the characters in the movie to tell their story. For instance, the interviews for an old white woman, Ayanda’s little sister and two ladies admiring David are surplus.

The film leaves unanswered questions. David was arrested; how was David released? Did Ayanda do anything to facilitate his release? Since he was an illegal immigrant, how did he solve his residency status so much so that he came back to the university?

The use of animation to interpret Ayanda’s mood adds flair to the film. But used thrice, it wears out its usefulness. Apparently, director Sara Blecher has much to say, thus the many overshadowing subplots and ultimately the film ends up feeling more like a soap opera than a feature.

 

 

This review is part of Talent press, a hands-on development programme of Talents Durban. The 8th Talents Durban is organised by the Centre for Creative Arts at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in co-operation with the Berlinale Talents Programme with support from the National Film and Video Foundation, German Embassy, Goethe Institut South Africa, the Gauteng Film Commission and a range of other valued partners.

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