Film & Television

Five African-themed Movies to Watch This May



This black continent boasts of incredible stories yet untold and a handful of filmmakers are tapping into them to produce interesting movies of various genres. This May, the streaming platforms and cinemas are having increasing numbers of viewership recorded for some outstanding works. While some of the ideas behind these stories may not be entirely new, the depth of visual storytelling is remarkable. Here are five of these movies:


  • Gold: A Journey With Idris Elba


This is a well told story with British actor, Idris Elba as the narrator. Digging into the long and complex history of gold mining, the movie which is streaming online for free captures the trails that followed this treasure across continents, opening several chapters in Africa. 


The movie details the concept of gold rush, creating a connection between the demand for gold and popular culture. From Ashanti culture to California’s Levi Strauss brand, the Gold factor was traced with facts and vigour. Elba’s enthusiasm for storytelling matched with good scripting makes this movie a great documentary to watch.


  • Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti

A scene from the movie

Now screening at cinemas in Nigeria, Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti is a 2022 biopic about the life and times of the renowned Nigerian activist and mother of afrobeat Legend, Fela Kuti with the same title name. 


Directed by Bolanle Austen-Peters, the film was screened at the 12th edition of the Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) where it won the prizes for Best Overall Feature Film and Best Screenplay. Starring Joke Silva, Jude Kosoko, Dele Double, Kehinde Bankole, Ibrahim Suleiman, this movie hit the cinemas on May 17.


Smart Casuals

Lead and supporting acts in the movie ‘Smart Casuals’

This is a bittersweet movie from South Africa. Navigating complicated relationships, the movie leaves the viewer unsated till the closing scene. A romance story with a twist, Smart Casuals is a sophisticated story of relationships and love, unreciprocated. Directed by Zwo Farisani, the 2024 movie stars Terrence Ngwila, Angela Sithole, Nyaniso Dzedze amongst others.


I am All Girls

If you’re keen on watching a dark movie, then you should see this 2021 South African movie titled ‘I am All Girls.’ In it, a relentless detective finds common ground with a killer systematically targeting the perpetrators running a powerful child-trafficking ring. Directed by Donovan Marsh, the movie is based on real events that unfolded in South Africa in the 1980s, in the tense dying days of Apartheid.



As a traditional sheikha singer, Touda works her magical voice at bars to scrape by with what little money she makes from her performances. Although the bars are scummy, she still strives to achieve her dreams of being a legendary singer. At the same time, she’s also trying to care for her son, Yassine, who is deaf and mute. It’s not easy for a mom to make ends meet while being a singer in the most unsavory of venues. This drama from Morocco comes from writer and director Nabil Ayouch (Casablanca Beats, Horses of God) and stars Nisrin Erradi, Jalila Talemsi, and Khalil Oubaaqa.


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