I finally got to watch Ayanda, Sara Blecher’s latest offering co-produced by Terry Pheto with Fulu Mugovhani as lead (Ayanda), her debut film.
Originally called Ayanda and the Mechanic, the film has two parallels. It is essentially about a photographer whose lens is fixed in telling stories about people of his continent, Africa. This interesting choice of style works, Ayanda is a film in a ‘film’.
Ayanda beomes one of photographer Anthony Billa's focus as an 'eye' on the life of the late Moses, he ought to share his story through the people who were close to him. Inevitably, Ayanda, Moses’ beloved daughter becomes a central character whose journey evolves around holding onto the memory of her father. This is evident in her resistance to let go of the garage and her father’s finest car, to name a few. At the age of 21 she is a handy woman who learnt everything from her mechanic. She turns old furniture anew and with this ideal she develops a model where they can repair and polish old cars and make them brand new, sell them with hopes of saving what matters the most. The unexpected happens and things do not unfold as planned.
It is Mugovhani’s performance that carries this film; she holds it together from the beginning to the end, you want to see her being the 21 year old she is portraying. She brings it to life effortlessly. Those Italian shots reveals the strong performer in her!
The costume department did a stellar job; she was dressed her age modern and fitting for her environment. It is a cotemporary piece that should be told. Beautiful picture, I am looking forward to Blecher’s next one!