Thoughts On: Where The Road Runs Out - Beginnings

31/10/2017

Where The Road Runs Out - Beginnings

Quick Thoughts: Where The Road Runs Out (2014)


Made by Rudolf Buitendach, this is the Equatorial Guinean film of the series.


Before the 1960s, Central and Western African cinema existed, predominantly, though not exclusively, through colonial powers. However, as African countries gradually gained independence, true African filmmaking is seen to have begun. Over the last 5 decades industries have then been established and developed, and whilst Nigerian and Senegalese cinema have become a staples of world cinema, film is still spreading across Central and Western Africa. Where The Road Runs Out is an example of this as the first feature-length film made in Equatorial Guinea.

A co-production between Equatorial Guinea, South Africa and the Netherlands, this is a by-the-numbers drama that follows a man initially born in Ghana who moved to the UK to get an education, but, after many decades, is still in the UK and is now a jaded academic. However, after his estranged friend's death, he decides to take his station beside an orphanage in Equatorial Guinea. From here we get a narrative centred on father figures as well as themes of responsibility, self-discovery and place with a B-plot romance thrown in for good measure.

Though this is shot very well with the cinematography being the strongest part of this movie, Where The Road Runs Out is a very mediocre picture. The dialogue is questionable, the acting is passable, the characters are contrived and the story is very predictable. There is then not much to praise in this light family drama, but it is nonetheless a solid, well-constructed movie and a significant first for Equatorial Guinea.

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