This film is currently streaming on YouTube at We Are One Global Film Festival
Hollywood, yep. Bollywood, sure. But this was my first encounter with Wakaliwood. “Uganda’s biggest no budget film studio”. From what I saw here, I’ve been missing some pretty wild action movies.
Sub-heading Waka Stars v Tiger Mafia, the story centres on a number of kung-fu fighting kids known as the WAKA Stars who have been kidnapped by the Tiger Mafia, led by a pint-sized child gangster. That the plot carries from start to finish is a minor miracle given the chaos that rules throughout.
Adults and kids all feature in a constant welter of kung fu kicks, punches and shoot outs. All accompanied by occasional commentary and captions, and all done with a budget that is clearly less than zero. It’s also the only film I’ve ever seen where the blood from wounds is a bright pink – what did you use guys? Hand cream? Washing up liquid? Both over the top violent and hilariously funny, it never ceases to entertain, and packs a lot into its 64 minute running time.
This is no send up, no homage to the kung fu movies of old, this, for all it looks like a home movie made in somebody’s yard, is a sincerely made film highlighting the fact that Uganda is one of the countries most affected by child kidnapping. They have chosen to get their point across in an entertaining fashion, using humour, action and (ahem) special effects, all of which work to their advantage.
It’s impossible not to be carried along in the wake of a cast and crew who are obviously having a lot of fun, and when the closing credits invite you to drop in if you’re passing and maybe get a part in their next production, you get the feeling they mean it and will welcome you with open arms.