Agogo Eewo

"Agogo Eewo," ("Gong of Taboo") posits an ancient tribal solution for a modern problem: how a ruler distances himself from the corrupt forces that elected him. Nigerian vid <I>auteur</I> Tunde Kelani's allegorical sequel to "Saworide," his historical study of abusive military dictatorship, interlaces snatches of pop and trad culture into a plea for political sanity.

With:
With: Dejumo Lewis, Deola Faleye, Lere Paimo, Larinde Akinleye. (Yoruba dialogue)

“Agogo Eewo,” (“Gong of Taboo”) posits an ancient tribal solution for a modern problem: how a ruler distances himself from the corrupt forces that elected him. Accomplished Nigerian video auteur Tunde Kelani’s allegorical sequel to “Saworide,” his historical study of abusive military dictatorship, interlaces snatches of popular and traditional culture — intricate dances, children’s rhymes, politico-religious incantations, tongue twisters, hereditary rituals, old songs and domestic farce — into a plea for political sanity. Humorous, likeable pic could provide offbeat fare for black cable outlets.

When a clique of venal chiefs offers the throne to their former crony, an ex-police officer, ostensibly to implement “reform” (i.e. insure the uninterrupted flow of cash into their pockets), Adebosipo (Dejumo Lewis) takes them at their word, much to the stupefaction of his wife and his people. While real reformers grow impatient and entrenched politicos plot and scheme, Adebosipo reinstates the tribal gong which kills officials who do not confess their crimes. Climax finds appropriately color-coded gangs of youths, in the pay of separate warring factions, recognizing their commonality and finally embracing, leaving corrupt power mongers to writhe in agony to the beat of the gong.

Agogo Eewo

Nigeria

Production: A Mainframe Film and TV production. Produced, directed by Tunde Kelani. Screenplay, Akinwumi Isola.

Crew: Camera (color, DV), Kelani; editor, Mumin Wale Kelani; sound Biodun Oni. Reviewed at African Film Festival, New York, April 7, 2004. (Also in Rotterdam Film Festival.) Running time: 106 MIN.

With: With: Dejumo Lewis, Deola Faleye, Lere Paimo, Larinde Akinleye. (Yoruba dialogue)

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