Film Review – AM I: TOO AFRICAN TO BE AMERICAN OR TOO AMERICAN TO BE AFRICAN Director: Nadia Sasso. 44 mins: USA/Sierra Leone.
This story highlights the journey of 7 successful women: Odunayo Adeoye a Nigerian Fashion Designer, Ajara Bomah a CEO from Sierra Leone, Mariama Jalloh a Sierra Leonean top Manager at KPMG, Issa Rae a Producer and Writer, Yeniva Sisay-Sogbeh, Nadia Sasso and Sarah Jabia) as they explore their “identity”. The multimedia composition is explored through a discussion format focusing on identity and the struggle of being of continental African heritage but raised in America. The documentary opens with Nadia Sasso speaking with her mother over the phone on her way from the United States to Sierra Leone. She introduces us to the 6 other African American ladies speaking of their experiences and identity of being African in America along with the struggles being American in Africa. The documentary takes us through the cultural challenges of these young ladies as it highlights the issues such as different ideals of beauty, finding your community, alienation, language, and finally the displacement that migrants experience in American societies. The music scores from Nigerian artists like Brymo and Timaya took us through the different motions excellently. This documentary has allowed for people have a platform voice given their complicated relationship with understandings of race, complexion, gender, heritage, hair texture, intonations and so many other issues. Agreeably, the quality of life in America has incomparable advantages. However, the quality of happiness for Africans cannot be measured. Africa is great beyond its own visions. Nevertheless, in order to see its greatness, the onus lies in the hands of the African people within the African diaspora to view Africa as their home for its growth or work internationally to be a part of the change. As Africa is set to enter its next stage we must break the barriers among its own people to build a continent of which we continue to discover its potential. Bayo Fagbamila and Imoh Eboh IREP Media Team