Idrissa Ouédraogo’ directorial ‘Kini and Adams’ is an English language movie made in 1997. This film is exclusively shot in Zimbabwe and popular acclaimed film besides his best known films besides are Yaaba (1989) and Tilaï (1990).
We know Idrissa’s constant seek to expand African audiences for his work and also recognizes the necessity of backing and bringing audiences outside Africa has been remarkably substantial. You can also notice the varied and inventive linguistic strategies Ouedraogo has employed to address diverse African and international audiences. They range from the limited dialogue and gestural emphasis of his shorts and features. Just to share more on Idrissa, he has been an inspiring film-maker, and his sensual eye for the detail and the visual allure are brilliant, so much so those charming vignettes, affecting performances, technical sophistication and inventive mise-en-scène and so on.
At the geographical and moral center of Idrissa earlier films (Yaaba and Tilai) were always set in the far lands of the rural African backdrop. Here the landscape centers on the road, there’s no village, On the side of the road is a broken-down jalopy that the title characters dream of fixing up and driving to the city. Despite containing trademark elements of charm, light heartedness and humor, Kini and Adams is Ouedraogo’s unrevoked story revolve around two friends, somewhere around in Southern Africa, in a hugely populated region, and yes in the poor neighborhood, these are far from the rural populace. We have two protagonists as friends in the central characters of Kini and Adams. Best of friends, the dreams, which is quite a typical one, these are defined their relationship for years. It’s believable that being a good friend takes a long time to learn. A good friend is loyal, which means you keep your promises and sometimes when you don’t feel like being a friend you are anyway. Sometimes the friends aren’t perfect and they make mistakes but we make mistakes too, and we don’t want our friends to leave us when that happens. Not predominantly a rational or well-thought-out dream, which becomes increasingly evident as it begins to come true. These little details and the basic headway are beautifully picturised in the movie.
We get to notice that Kini and Adams attempt to repair an old car with second-hand spare parts, expecting that they go to city one day and get paid well for their jobs. The film portrays the traditional disorientation of that society, we see the families and friends make fun of Kini and Adams, still they continue until the local quarry reopens as their lives become a paradox and contradictory in the situation
To this end, they begin fixing up a battered old automobile. As hardscrabble farmers, neither has money and getting car-parts is a real challenge. That Kini is married to the domineering Aida and has a daughter also presents an obstacle. Little by little, their motivation dies down as the reality sets in and choices have to be made, their friendship begins to unravel, their integrity to falter and so does their friendship, and as the fast-witted Kini is hired as a supervisor while Adams remains a regular grunt. Finally, bitterness and jealousy put an end to the friendship between the two men and they become fierce enemies.
The crew consists of South African actors to reach a larger audience, this is in mind to consciously strive for the global reach and of course it’s justified in showcasing the beautiful story with a universal theme. There’s absolutely nothing naïve in this powerfully told tale. The cast is magnificent, and it’s amazing what beauty can be found in a flat, dusty landscape or in the gray and white stones of a quarry of that community. Yet one misses the unique contours of Idrissa Ouedraogo’s the long road, and that precisely rooted so deeply in time and space. This film nominated Idrissa Ouedraogo for the Palme d’Or at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival and won the Jury prize at the 1998 Bermuda International Film Festival.