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In the wake of the Angolan civil war, Walter (Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine) has spent 17 years in exile in New York, working triple shifts as a cab driver while petitioning to be reunited with wife Esther (Zainab Jah) and daughter Sylvia (Jayme Lawson, soon to appear in Matt Reeves’s The Batman). Their reunion should be a cause for celebration, but the reality is more complicated, as Walter struggles to untether himself emotionally from Linda (Nana Mensah), a nurse he’s been having a relationship with in his wife’s absence.
There are three sides to every story in Ekwa Msangi’s vivid and carefully observed feature debut, and so she cleverly splits the film into thirds, replaying the action but changing the vantage point with each chapter. This structural device draws attention to the ways the characters continually misunderstand each other, introducing personal stakes to an otherwise familiar portrayal of the immigrant experience. The strict and pious Esther has a suffocating quality about her, but Jah’s performance reveals hidden vulnerabilities (and quietened carnal appetites), reframing her devotion as an anchor to her homeland. Mwine is also brilliant as a dutiful father whose mind can’t help but drift elsewhere.
• Farewell Amor is on Mubi
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Farewell Amor review – vivid immigrant story with a twist | Film