Kampala-“The Boda Boda Thieves” a film written and directed by Ugandan script-writer Donald Mugisha is making it big internationally. Inspired by Vittorio De Sica’s 1948 drama ‘The Bicycle Thief’, the film gives a vivid look into the life of a Ugandan teen on a mission to save his family’s livelihood.
The film Director Mugisha treads new territory by telling his story squarely from the perspective of Goodman’s 15-year-old son Abel.
The debuting main actor Hassan Insingoma, who acts as Abel, is a young thrill-seeker itching for mischief. His parents want him to go into town to find a job; instead he’d rather hang out gambling with friends.
Abel’s father Goodman runs a boda boda (motorbike) business while his wife breaks and sells rocks for a living.
After being so irresponsible and not heeding his father’s advice, Abel is finally forced to pick up his old man’s (Goodman) boda boda so as to provide for the family. In a city (Kampala) that’s full of corruption and high crime, Abel realizes he needs more than courage to survive, something that makes him run into more trouble. He loses something very important and he has to find it.
The story is fast paced and offers moments of comedy to punctuate the overall dramatic tone and camerawork used is solid; Mugisha uses handheld shots with complex shots to tell the tension in Abel’s life.
“The Boba Boda Thieves” was produced through the Pan-African film making collective ‘Yes! That’s Us Films,’ and it has featured at many International Festivals, the latest being the Seattle International Film Festival. It was filmed in Kampala.
Although “The Boda Boda Thieves” is not yet on distribution, be sure to get one when it is released. It’s a must watch.