Black Films That Should Be on Your Watch List!

‘Fish of the Land’ 30m HD 2014

We all know the pressure of trying to live up to our parent’s expectations. If you think that’s hard, imagine being the son of a Tanzanian King and heir a technological empire! Fish of the Land is the dramatic story of a man who tries to do everything right to fulfill his father’s legacy, but he somehow manages to do everything wrong...including murder. This 30-minute film will undoubtedly make you question your traditional beliefs. What would you do to live up to your family name?

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‘Orishas: The Hidden Pantheon’ 1h 45m HD 2016

“Orishas: The Hidden Pantheon” tells the story of several ordinary strangers who spontaneously gain supernatural powers (such as being able to read other people’s minds or run faster than light). They band together to try to find the source of these new abilities, as well as to fend off the mysterious assassin who now has them in his sights.   

While that could be the plot of countless comic book-style movies, you won’t find any superheroes dressed in silly costumes fighting monsters and knocking down buildings in this film.

“Orishas” is a modern-day story inspired by the mythology of an ancient Yoruba faith known as Ife. Writer and director Yann Kieffoloh Jr. poses an ambitious question in his debut film: what would happen if the celestial spirits of a religion that most people thought had died off, suddenly re-engaged with the world?

While the acting quality is uneven, and the narrative gets choppy at times, there is a lot here to like, especially considering Kieffoloh’s tiny production budget. The visual effects are memorable, and the music effectively sets the mood without overwhelming the activity on screen.

Also, worth commending is Sebree Laurie for the convincing job he does in portraying Chike Osei, the mind-reader who is first among the group to discover his new ability.   

“Orishas” is clearly intended to be the first of a series of movies, and I hope that Kieffoloh has the opportunity to tell his tale in full. There are many different directions he could take this story, and regardless of what challenges he has in store for these characters, I have a feeling that this promising young artist will continue to intrigue us.

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