Directed by: Kashmir Leese
Written by: Kashmir Leese
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COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown has affected all of us in one way or another. Even the non-believers and conspiracy minded people have not been able to escape the effects one way or another. In this title, Kiwewe Nyeusi, the protagonist doesn't dawn a standard character name or personality; Kashmir Leese portrays himself in what can only be described as a reality based film.
What starts as an online journal of sorts about keeping busy during a quarantine... and keeping sane... quickly shifts to the state of the world today. Racism, privilege, the wrongs of society, the good and the bad, being black, and back again to being in quarantine. I could go into detail about specific cases, but if you don't know what I'm talking about, you probably are not reading this review. Kiwewe Nyeusi tackles near all this, from the perspective of someone also kind of losing themselves within a quarantine, not being able to have any sort of physical contact with people. It's an interesting and scary concept, one that is far from fiction for so many of us.
Among all the questions presented in this shorter, feature-length film, everything on racism and society, the unique take on the subject matter comes from being alone. How your mind starts to tremble with no human contact, and only social media and the internet to shape your ideas. And shape them it does. This film begins jokingly enough, and the real meat and potatoes of the concept are dripped in as the quarantine countdown rises. It's a great way to showcase, and a great way to make its point to anyone watching who happens to be white. Even I felt a little awkward at times, as I began to see where things were going. Everyone is fake, as Leese himself says; and I can't help but wonder if even I happen to fall into that category without even knowing.
I could list a fact by fact, scene by scene breakdown of this entire film, but that wouldn't by any means do justice to actually watching this gem of a micro-budget film. Even if I did go point by point, I don't think I could ever do it nearly as good - or to the point. Kiwewe Nyeusi is not so much a story, rather a documentary. Leese is not so much acting, as he is demonstrating and educating. Filled with heartbreaking monologues, I can think of no person who won't get something out of watching this, and I'll just leave it at that. Four stars.