Ekwa Msangi’s ‘Farewell Amor’ is an immigrant drama about coming to terms with a father/husband who’s now a stranger

Posted on December 19, 2020


farewell amor


The protagonist’s situation is not very different from that of the Indians who go to the Gulf to work. They don’t have a “family life”, as such.

It’s the waiting area at John F Kennedy International Airport, and our eyes are drawn to a man holding a white name card. There are others, of course: people crossing the frame in front of this man, wheeling their luggage. And behind him, there are others waiting. But our eyes settle on this man holding a sign, because he’s right in front and that name card makes us think the people he’s waiting for are the people who’ll become part of this story.  But suddenly, there’s movement from someone else, from behind. This other man walks past the man with the name card, steps in front, and greets two passengers. He’s Walter (Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine), an Angolan refugee who drives a cab in New York.

This history — that he’s from someplace torn apart by a civil war, that he fled, that he’s been trying for 17 years to get his wife and daughter over to the US, that he’s finally succeeding in this scene that opens Ekwa Msangi’s  Farewell Amor — means nothing to New York. To the city, Walter is as “invisible” a presence as he was, until now, at the airport. Later, he’ll tell his daughter Sylvia (Jayme Lawson) that this country is hard for black people, especially foreigners. “You have to carry yourself a certain way so that white people don’t feel threatened.” It’s only when he dances he feels he’s being himself. The daughter has inherited his dancing genes.

Read the rest of this article at the link above.

Copyright ©2020 Firstpost.