The modern age takes on an ancient faith in this beautifully crafted African fantasy thriller.

In the West African village of Lyi, Mama Efe acts as an intermediary between the villagers and the water god Mami Wata, who controls Lyi’s destiny. When tensions between Efe and her daughter Zinwe come to a boil, the future of both the family and the village is at stake. 

The clash between ancient religious traditions and the demands of the modern era, the power struggle between matriarchy and patriarchy and the rebellion of a younger generation are intertwined in this mythical tale, combining family saga with village history. The individual story elements may not be unique, but the way director Fiery Obasi brings them together is. Even though the story is set in current times, the stunning design gives the film a timeless character: the crisp black-and-white, the expressive costumes and face-paintings and the sparse, effective score by Tunde Jegede give Mami Wata a magical realist atmosphere. A gem. 

107 minutes
Nigeria, Frankrijk, Groot-Brittannië
Fon, Engels
(English Subtitles)
C. J. Obasi
David Avincin Oparaeke, Emeka Amakeze, Evelyne Ily Juhen, Hidaya Ibrahim, Kelechi Udegbe, Rita Edochie, Sofiath Sanni, Tim Ebuka, Tough Bone, Uzoamaka Aniunoh