Mama Africa

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Mama Africa ★★½ 2002

Three segments, directed by three different African filmmakers are tied together by the authoritative introductions of Queen Latifah. Stylistically plain but emotionally charged, all three tales involve young, poverty-stricken but promising Africans facing difficult moral choices for a better life. In two of the stories young, single mothers Raya (Abrahams) and Uno (David) take up with questionable men for love or money and find themselves tempted to enter their world of crime. Director Onwurah's modern-day fable, the best of the three, focuses on young Nigerian Kwame, who desperately needs $100 to buy a pair of basketball sneakers for a tryout with an American scout. As the day approaches, Kwame is enticed by a slimy gangster to join up with his crew as a way to get what he desperately needs. Fine performances and a refreshing lack of melodrama or moralizing. 89m/C VHS, DVD . Rehane Abrahams, Damien Chamley, Ivan Lucas, Oscar Petersen, Denise Newman, Hyppolite Ouangrawa, Alima Salouka, Cindy Sampson, Graham Weir; D: Fanta Regina Nacro, Zulfar Otto-Sallies, Ingrid Sinclair.