Breaking With Customs is one of the numerous Pan African movies showing for FREE on AfroLandTV. The website interestingly has a wide variety of African movies to watch. CLICK LINK TO WATCH.
Set in the imaginary kingdom of Buganda in the 20th century, Breaking With Customs tells the tale of star crossed lovers forced apart by tradition.
Chief Bukulu, a tyrannical ruler chooses a beautiful virgin girl, Nsanji, to be his fourth wife. Nsanji
refuses tradition and decides to run away with her longtime lover, Mpaka. Now, the kingdom wants
both dead or alive.
The story ends in tragedy for Mpaka who is carted away to be killed and Nsanji who resigns to her fate and accepts to be the bride of Bukuulu despite being with Mpaka’s child.
It is not uncommon to see a love story take an unconventional twist, but it is laudable to see Africa’s growing movie industry explore stories that bench the familiar Romeo & Juliet conflict theme.
Breaking With Customs presents a great story complete with an unprecedented conflict. The title is refreshingly ironical making you regret why you never really paid attention to the wise lines of Chinua Achebe that ushers the motion picture: “When a tradition gathers enough strength to go on for centuries, you don’t just turn it off one day”.
The movie deserves some accolades with character interpretation. That is just about where the praise singing ends. For the moment at least.
How best do you deal with a problematic plot? You might need to brace yourself for the problems of the plot of Breaking With Customs. The editors took a near perfect story, mismatched the scenes, discovered rational reasons to input irrelevant scenes and delivered one hour and twenty four minutes of nerve wrecking drama with a plot that has no place in the books.
Cinematography could have done better so could costuming. Despite it being set in ancient Africa, not one member of the production crew reminded the costumier(s) that ancient Africans had some value for hygiene. The cast (male and female alike) except Chief Bukuulu of course showcased untidy hair, greasy faces and dusty sweaty bodies. Most painful to watch were the scenes dedicated to mucus dripping care freely down the nostrils of Nsanji and Nattu (the Chief’s 3rd wife). Warning! Those scenes are guaranteed to cost you dinner or lunch.
In all modesty, Breaking With Customs would have done better as a stage play much more than it did as a screen play. Judging by how theatrical the dialogues and monologues were but more hilariously how the extras managed to harmoniously chant “kill him”, “punish her” “kill them” through the course of the movie.
On the bright side, Breaking With Customs boasts of some fine Ugandan actors. T. West Ttabu Wasswa Stephen who plays Mpaka and also doubles as the movie’s director showcased an Oscar worthy performance same as his co- star; Nabuunje Lilian Cherimo who plays Nsanji.
In the end, Breaking With Customs comfortably sits with the Drama genre as it requires very little Dos and Don’ts.
But for the need to tell a story, the moral of the story is a little unsettling especially for the audience it was made for- culture over natural desires, over its makers? Not in our world!