90 Movies in 90 Days: Kirikou and the Sorceress (1998)

I’m kicking off 2023 by trying to watch and review one movie every day for the first 90 days, all of which will be 90 minutes or less.

Title: Kirikou and the Sorceress
Release Date: 9 December 1998
Director: Michel Ocelot
Production Company: France 3 Cinéma | Les Armateurs | Monipoly Productions | Odec Kid Cartoons | Rija Studio | Studio O | Trans Europe Film

In a series of animated adventures drawn from West African folk tales that are vividly imaginative, darkly humorous, and downright strange, a hero named Kirikou (Theodore Sibusiso Sibeko) defends his village against an evil sorceress, Karaba (Antoinette Kellermann).  It should be noted that Kirikou is a very tiny and very naked newborn baby who nonetheless can talk, run fast, and burrow underground.  This is not your typical superhero! The story is charming and sweet, and ultimately about redemption rather than revenge.  The soundtrack by Youssou N’Dour is also excellent.

Rating ***1/2

Book Review: She Would Be King by Wayétu Moore

Around the World for a Good Book selection for Liberia

Author: Wayétu Moore
Title: She Would Be King
Publication Info: Minneapolis, Minnesota : Graywolf Press, [2018]

This fictional origin story for the nation of Liberia brings together three characters with unique talents. Gbessa, born with red hair in the West African village of Lai, is considered to be cursed and ostracized.  June Dey is born into slavery in Virginia under miraculous circumstances and develops superhuman strength.  Norman Aragon is the child of an enslaved woman and a white British slaveholder who gains an ability to fade from sight.  All three end up in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia founded by the American Colonization Society to resettle freed Black people.  The summary makes it sound like a comic book superhero team, but the book is more nuanced than that.  The book works well as an examination of the ongoing trauma of slavery, Liberia’s intricate ties with the United States, and the interaction of the American Blacks with the indigenous people of that part of Africa.

Recommended books:

Rating: ***