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Jordan Adler

Under the bright sun of Lagos, Nigeria, a band of friends bide their time before heading off to university. Determined painter Uzoma (Ifeanyi Dike Jr.) hopes to get some of his work into a prestigious gallery. Segun (Samuel Robinson) dreams of flying to New York to meet his brother and become immersed with the American culture he adores. Baba (Jamal Ibrahim) wants to make films, although his father tries to push him toward school. Together with wannabe actor Maggie (Crystabel Goddy), the young Nigerians press forward on Baba’s film even as their separate journeys threaten to dissolve their friendship.
This endearing mosaic of young Nigerian life pulsates with energy and exuberance. Director Abba Makama has a feel for the slang and rhythms of Nigerian youth, while Green White Green’s exploration of the local visual culture should fascinate audiences unfamiliar with that film scene. The comedy is mostly in English and filled with references to Western popular culture: it may be one of the most accessible City to City titles at TIFF this year.
Makama’s film works best when it focuses on individual characters, highlighting their personal and artistic struggles. When the main foursome hangs out together, the chemistry is undeniable, but the pacing slackens. The film sometimes has an amateurish, unpolished feel, likely due to its small budget. These rough edges have their charms and mi ... Read Full Review

Under the bright sun of Lagos, Nigeria, a band of friends bide their time before heading off to university. Determined painter Uzoma (Ifeanyi Dike Jr.) hopes to get some of his work into a prestigious gallery. Segun (Samuel Robinson) dreams of flying to New York to meet his brother and become immersed with the American culture he adores. Baba (Jamal Ibrahim) wants to make films, although his father tries to push him toward school. Together with wannabe actor Maggie (Crystabel Goddy), the young Nigerians press forward on Baba’s film even as their separate journeys threaten to dissolve their friendship.
This endearing mosaic of young Nigerian life pulsates with energy and exuberance. Director Abba Makama has a feel for the slang and rhythms of Nigerian youth, while Green White Green’s exploration of the local visual culture should fascinate audiences unfamiliar with that film scene. The comedy is mostly in English and filled with references to Western popular culture: it may be one of the most accessible City to City titles at TIFF this year.
Makama’s film works best when it focuses on individual characters, highlighting their personal and artistic struggles. When the main foursome hangs out together, the chemistry is undeniable, but the pacing slackens. The film sometimes has an amateurish, unpolished feel, likely due to its small budget. These rough edges have their charms and mirror the burgeoning qualities of the artist characters. However, these spots of bother increasingly intrude on the narrative. Meanwhile, the sole female lead, Maggie, gets too little screen time and character development.
IS GREEN WHITE GREEN ESSENTIAL FESTIVAL VIEWING?
Green White Green works in fits and starts. But when it does work, it is a vibrant and very funny exploration of Nigerian youth culture. If you are interested in catching some titles from the City to City programme, this could be a welcome break from more serious-minded festival fare.

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