Film Club: February's Picks

A monthly roundup of the best of African cinema.


When looking for popular African films to watch, popular streamers like Netflix may get most of the attention, but it’s hardly a single source for cinephiles looking to stream essential classic and contemporary films. Each of the prominent streaming platforms caters to its niche of film obsessives.


From the boundless wonders of cinema to the new frontiers of streaming offered by the likes of ShowMax, YouTube, and Amazon Prime, and of course, Netflix, Bside’s monthly guide highlights the best of films to watch on every major streamer this month.


In no particular order, here are our picks for February.


The Arbitration

The Arbitration is a 2016 Nigerian romantic drama written by Chinaza Onuzo, directed by Niyi Akinmolayan, and produced by Chinaza Onuzo, Omotayo Adeola, and Zulu Oyibo. The film stars OC Ukeje, Adesua Etomi, Iretiola Doyle, and Somkele Iyamah-Idhalama.


The film follows the story of a charming entrepreneur Gbenga who runs a very profitable tech company and is the defendant in a lawsuit filed by Dara (Adesua Etomi), a computer engineer, whose talents helped Gbenga's company reach its current heights. Both colleagues were lovers whose relationship ended when Gbenga discovered his wife (Beverly Naya) was pregnant with their supposed-to-be first child. Her lawsuit seeks compensation for those accounts.


WHERE TO WATCH: AMAZON PRIME



This Lady Called Life

Directed by Kayode Kasum, This Lady Called Life is a 2020 drama that tells the story of Aiye, a young single mother who struggles financially to cope with the rising cost of living in the modern city of Lagos. Abandoned by her own family at a very young age, Aiye is faced with various obstacles that look to deprive her of fulfilling her dream of becoming a renowned chef. She works extremely hard running a modest business that barely affords her a decent standard of living but she proved her mettle throughout the moving drama.


WHERE TO WATCH: NETFLIX



Timbuktu


2014 film Timbuktu is one that shows what life is like in a small African town after it's been taken over by Jihadists determined to enforce Sharia Law. Nominated by the Academy Awards for Best Foreign Film, the motion picture follows the life of a cattle herder and his family who reside in the dunes of Timbuktu. They find their usually quiet lives ー which is typically free of the Jihadists determined to control their faith ー abruptly disturbed.


Directed by Mauritanian-born Malian film director and producer Abderrahmane Sissako, The film shows a variety of scenarios in which harsh Muslim law is implemented.


WHERE TO WATCH: AMAZON PRIME



Kati Kati


Kati Kati is a 2016 Kenyan drama film directed by Mbithi Masya. Telling the story of the afterlife, we see young Kaleche who has no recollection of previous events find herself in the middle of the wilderness. She makes her way to Kati Kati, a nearby lodge, where she meets a motley crew of residents under the leadership of Thoma. They inform her that she is dead and won’t be able to leave Kati Kati. She quickly assimilates into the group and together they enjoy Kati Kati’s luxurious distractions. Kaleche soon realizes that the afterlife is not only fun and games, every member of the group seems to still carry a burden from their previous life.


Kati Kati won the Prize of the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival, for the Discovery programme. It was selected as the Kenyan entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 90th Academy Awards, but it was unfortunately not nominated.


WHERE TO WATCH: SHOWMAX



Finding Hubby

Finding Hubby follows the adventures of 35-year-old Oyin Clegg and her friends Toke and Gloria as they kiss the many frogs in the quest to find their prince. Based on a series of blogs written by the author Tunde Leye, Olufemi Ogunsanwo's film tells the story of these three friends who in the process of finding their prince charming are forced to ask important questions about their friendship, love, and life ultimately asking - Finding Hubby or Finding Happy?


WHERE TO WATCH: NETFLIX



Dinner At My Place


Dinner at my place is a romantic comedy that tells the story of Nonso (Timini Egbuson) who is planning to propose to his girlfriend (Sophie Alakija) over dinner, However, things takes a turn for the worst when his Dramatic Ex-girlfriend (Bisola Aiyeola) shows up uninvited.


Directed by Kevin Luther Apaa, The story is filled with lots of humor and at the same time lots of drama, suspense, and intrigue.


WHERE TO WATCH: Currently showing across Cinemas Nationwide.






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