Film Club: November's Picks

A monthly roundup of the best of African cinema.



Every month, B.Side’s Film Club brings you a selection of some of the best motion pictures from across the African continent for your viewing pleasure. Even though some of these films aren’t currently screening at the cinema, we are sure to find them for you on various streaming platforms.


As the year 2021 winds down, the month of November ushered in a packed slate of new releases to cinema and streaming platforms including festival favourites we can already recommend and others that hold a great deal of promise. From some of the best filmmakers working today to breakthrough voices in African cinema, there's much to check out.



SOOLE (2021)


Soole is a captivating thriller about a bus driver who picks up several passengers heading to Enugu from Lagos. On their journey, they realise that they were being trailed by men of the underworld because of something or someone aboard the bus which leads to a sinister series of events.


Soole is directed by Ponzi and Dwindle Director Kayode Kasum and is produced by Adunni Ade. The film which premiered in cinemas across Nigeria on the 26th of November stars Adunni Ade, Sola Sobowale, Meg Otanwa, Teniola Aladese, Adedimeji Lateef, Femi Jacobs, Ese Dike, Mike Afolarin, Gold Ikonwosa, and Kelechi Udegbe.


WHERE TO WATCH: CINEMAS NATIONWIDE

THE RIVER (2021)


The South Africa drama series directed by Johnny Barbuzano and Bonga Percy Vilakazi is an M-Net original production. Set in Pretoria against the backdrop of South Africa's mining sector, a diamond discovery in the river running between the poor township of Refilwe and the affluent neighbourhood of Silver Lakes quickly turns from a blessing to a curse. In this enthralling drama, worlds collide in spectacular fashion. One side of the river is home to those who will go to any lengths to keep their wealth; the other, by those who have little to show for their hard work.

With three successful seasons, the series is currently available to stream on Shomax.


WHERE TO WATCH: SHOWMAX


CITY OF JOY (2021)


The documentary film City of Joy traces the story of several women who are used as bait during the mining Congo conflict that has been raging since 1996. While the war that sparked these events officially ended in July 2003, little or no changes have been made to help ensure the safety of women in several communities in the country. To tell the story of their struggles, the director Madeleine Gavin follows the beginnings of City of Joy, a center established in 2011 in the eastern region of the DRC to help women who have been victimized by the ongoing mining conflicts in the area.

WHERE TO WATCH: NETFLIX


AZALI (2018)


AZALI, a 2018 Ghallywood film follows the story of a 14-year-old girl Amina, who lived in Northern Ghana. Her mother chooses to send her to work in Burkina Faso to prevent her from getting married off to a much older man but her choice would, unfortunately, leave Amina in the hands of a child smuggling syndicate. The film directed by Kwabena Gyansah carefully details the situation of the various people who mostly migrate from the Northern parts of Ghana with the intention of finding greener pastures. Azali stars Asana Alhassan as the lead character alongside Adjetey Anang, Akorfa Edjeani, Peter Richie, Ama K. Abebrese, Mohammed Hafiz and Strika (From Beast of No Nation).


WHERE TO WATCH: NETFLIX

ADU (2021)


Adu is a gorgeously photographed, thoughtfully conceived, and engrossing mini-epic tying together three stories set in Africa. It’s the second feature by director Salvador Calvo (his debut was 2016 historical drama 1898). Adu sees Ali (Zayiddaya Dissou) and her little brother Adu (Moustapha Oumarou) abruptly stopping at a jungle path after hearing several gunshots. The pair, curious to find out where the gunshots came from, crawled through the brush and witness a bunch of poachers harvesting a freshly killed elephant for its tusks. The poachers spot the kids and chase them off. They returned, intending to permanently silence them but Ali and Adu managed to escape as their mother got killed. This would be their first step on an arduous and captivating journey in this enthralling melodrama.


WHERE TO WATCH: NETFLIX

THE RISHANTES (2021)



Currently in its second season, the series follows the Rishante family (Mofe Duncan, Chisom Agoaiweke, and Ummi Baba Ahmed), a wealthy and powerful family who seem to have it all but beneath the surface, some underlying powers and events could lead the family to a cataclysmic ending. Their supposedly happy life is filled with discord and conflict within the family that they must resolve to face the bigger enemy threatening to tear them apart. The project premiered on Africa Magic on the first of November and new episodes drops every Monday by 8 pm on Africa Magic.

WHERE TO WATCH: AFRICA MAGIC


A MAN FOR THE WEEKEND (2021)



Driven by her career, a young business executive Candace Ayuk (Candy) has no time for the pleasure of life, much to the chagrin of her mother who wants to see her settle down. This back and forth drives a wedge between the two as Candy grudgingly tries to find a man just to please her mother. She eventually finds one but he, unfortunately, turns out to be not what she taught he was.


The Cameroonian film stars a mix of Nollywood stars such as Alex Ekubo alongside home-based Cameroonian actors like Syndy Emade as Candace, Nchifor Valery as Richard Mbome, Solange Ojong as Christelle and Ayuk Miss Lee as Mrs Ayuk amongst others to help bring the story to life.


WHERE TO WATCH: NETFLIX

FINE WINE (2021)



Directed by award-winning director Seyi Babatope, Fine Wine is a 2021 Nollywood film that revolves around an age-gap romance between Seye George (Richard Mofe Damijo) and Kaima (Oge Nwosu). The film which premiered on Netflix this November is captivating intriguing, keeping you glued to your screen and rooting for the characters and their love.


WHERE TO WATCH: NETFLIX


TENANTS OF THE HOUSE (2021)



Tenants of the House is an African political drama directed by Kunle Afolayan and written by Wale Okedawan and Tunde Babalola. Inspired by the novel written by Dr Wale Okediran, who also doubles as the producer, ‘Tenants of the House’ tells a story about conspiracy in power, dangerous romance and girl-child education. The thrilling drama is a visual political expose on Nigeria’s ruling class including the conflict between personal and national interest wrapped with a garb of emotions. Filmed in 2018 in the northern parts of Nigeria, the project was photographed by award-winning Nigerian cinematographer ‘No Dash’ and also stars Yakubu Mohammed, Dele Odule, Joselyn Dumas and Rashida Lobbo and was acquired by popular streamer Netflix to stream in November 2021.


WHERE TO WATCH: NETFLIX

THE WIFE (2021)



The Wife is a 2021 South African telenovela exclusive to Showmax. The series tells the story of Hlomu, an ambitious journalist who falls for a charming taxi driver whose secrets draw her into a dark underworld. The show is inspired by Dudu Busani-Dube’s book Hlomu the Wife and its sequels. The projects releases episodes every Thursday on Showmax.


WHERE TO WATCH: SHOWMAX





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