THE BODA BODA THIEVES
Yes! That's Us
"Yes! That's Us". This name is like a manifesto for the working process of James Tayler and Donald Mugisha. Their cooperation has attracted international attention. When Donald’s strength lies in his impeccable sense of timing and rhythm, James is contributing a keen eye for technical details and creative energy to the team. Their two award-winning films DIVIZIONS and YOGERA gained worldwide recognition and prove the dedication of the two filmmakers. Yes! That's Us follow the indigenous African philosophy of Ubuntu: "I am what I am because of who we all are." This mindset is also clearly reflected in THE BODA BODA THIEVES one more time.
Are happiness and prosperity to be found in the saddle of a boda boda? A small family in the country’s capital, Kampala, hopes so, as they try to find a way out of poverty with a motorcycle bought from their last savings. Abel is the oldest son of the family, originally from a small Ugandan village, and considers himself destined for greater things and accordingly does not try his luck with a boda boda. But then an accident renders his father incapable of work and Abel is forced to provide for the family’s existence in the saddle of the motorcycle-taxi.
Abel’s newly-gained freedom on the one hand opens a door to a better future, but on the other hand shows him a way into the urban community’s dark side. As if all of that wasn’t enough, the motorcycle then gets stolen.
Through Abel’s eyes, we see society’s conflict between tradition and modernity surface, and we gain insights into the never-ending struggle between juvenile escapism and tried-and-tested realism. Abel’s difficult task lies in reconciling precisely those levels, to resist the shady temptations of the urban lifestyle, while keeping up the traditional values that hold everything together.
THE BODA BODA THIEVES is a homage to the 1948 neorealist masterpiece LADRI DI BICICLETTE by Vittorio De Sica. The intention is neither to reinterpret the movie nor to copy it. It’s simply the transfer of classic social realism into the contemporary world, which allows rediscovering Africa from the saddle of a Boda Boda.
Hubert Bals Fund
National Film and Video Foundation South Africa
Sarah Wanjiku Muhoho
Sarah Wanjiku Muhoho