Daily News header

Ikland: Ugandan Film Review

By     get stories by email

Redemptive Documentary Rectifies Image of Much-Maligned African Tribe

40 years ago, Colin Turnbull gained widespread recognition as the author of "The Mountain People," an eye-opening book about a little-known tribe living in a remote region of Northern Uganda near the country's border with Kenya. His damning ethnological study indicted the Ik as selfish, loveless, sadistic monsters who bred indiscriminately, never sang, deserted their elders, laughed at each other's misfortunes, and even fed their offspring to wild animals.

Because Turnbull was the only Westerner who had studied these ostensibly-depraved natives in depth, no one was really in a position to question the veracity of the British anthropologist's shocking findings. At least, until recently, when Cevin Soling decided to conduct his own research to determine whether the horrifying accounts of barbarism he had read in the 7th grade were really accurate.

ilk
Photo: www.rottentomatoes.com
So, he assembled an intrepid film crew before embarking on a perilous trek across some very dangerous terrain marked by civil war and inaccessible by automobile in search of the selfsame natives Turnbull had dubbed the worst people in the world. The upshot of that herculean effort is Ikland, a redemptive documentary which sets the record straight about the much-maligned tribe.

For, as it turns out, lo and behold, the Ik are a civilized and perfectly-polite clan, who love their neighbors, the elderly, as well as their young, judging by all the suckling babes being fed by bare-breasted, pipe-smoking women in front of huts. Soling, who not only directed but narrates the film, also interviews a few village elders about what they remember of the visit decades ago by a Brit detractor who might have had an agenda.

Because the Ik are so normal, what makes the picture fascinating is the filmmaker's taxing ordeal trying to reach them. The ending soon after his arrival is almost anticlimactic, since the subjects are fairly ordinary folks, judging by African standards.

A caravan to the middle of nowhere proving it's still the same all over, good people everywhere you go.

Excellent (3.5 stars)

Unrated

In English, Ik, Swahili, Karamojong and Dodoth with subtitles

Running time: 96 minutes

Studio: Spectacle Films

Distributor: Quad Cinema

Trailer for Ikland:

http://www.iklandmovie.com/?id=trailer
Kam Williams is a syndicated film and book critic who writes for 100+ publications. He is a member of the New York Film Critics Online, the African-American Film Critics Association, and the NAACP Image Awards Nominating Committee. Contact him through NewsBlaze. Read more reviews by Kam Williams.

  Please click this get stories by email button to be notified about future stories, and please leave a comment below.

  Please leave a comment here     If it does not display within 10 seconds, please refresh the page

Related Movie Reviews News

Kung Fu Elliot is a kickboxer on a desperate quest to be star. He ropes his girlfriend in to his delusional scheme and the question is, can the relationship last longer than the dream.
We see a procession of movies about artists throughout history suffering for their art, rarely are there sightings of the women in their lives made to suffer too.
Here are the top DVD releases for this week, starting with Whiplash, and just the right time for a fond farewell to the love month of February 2015!
Chris Elliott talks to Prairie Miller about The Rewrite, nutty jobs he's had just to get by, other fellow funny guys who've inspired him, and getting stoned on Groundhog Day.
Will was as eager to share enlightening information, as much about getting into the trickster head of his artful dodger character Nicky, as what he learned about himself.
The eager apprentice to Will's rather elusive object of desire in this primarily psychological thriller, met to talk about her tendency to end up in lots of male bonding movies but loving it.

 

NewsBlaze Writers Of The Month


Popular Stories This Month

newsletter logo

landing page ad

NewsBlaze
Copyright © 2004-2014 NewsBlaze Pty. Ltd.
Use of this website is subject to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy  | DMCA Notice               Press Room   |    Visit NewsBlaze Mobile Site