Last week, Alex wrote an enlightening article about the traditional portrayal of Africa in Western Cinema here. The impetus of the piece was the arrival of the film Beasts of No Nation, adapted and directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga from the novel of the same name by Uzodinma Iweala. It’d be a lie to say that many of Alex’s thoughts and observations about the Africa of Western cinema didn’t color my reading of the film, but as with all good writing, it helped me to take notice of several things that might have been missed.
What was unmistakable to me, however, is the fact that Beasts of No Nation, in spite of its ambitions, fails to succeed on several different fronts. It is not without merit – but there’s a great deal missing that could have made this a great movie instead of another mediocre portrayal of an often-overlooked region of the world.