Visit Childish Gambino’s Guava Island

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Visit Childish Gambino’s Guava Island

Mia Pandza, Staff reporter

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Donald Glover’s new film Guava Island did not disappoint when it was released on Amazon Prime on Saturday, April 13, following his headlining Coachella performance. Other than rumors of Glover and Rihanna discreetly working together in Cuba, the project was very hushed. Spotify began running ads for the film in early April. No one truly knew what to expect when it first premiered at Coachella and was then released exclusively on Amazon Prime Video. Glover’s brother Stephen wrote the the 55-minute musical short film, and Hiro Murai directed it. Donald Glover is a very diverse artist; he is known as Childish Gambino within hip-hop culture, he’s an award winning producer and actor, and he is also an esteemed comedian. Guava Island stars Glover, Rihanna, breakthrough Black Panther actress Letitia Wright, and “Game of  Thrones” actor Nonso Anozie.

Rihanna’s character, Kofi, explains the ways of her home island by narrating over an animated introduction. The animation is colorful and charming, much like the live-action portion of the film that will follow. Guava Island is created by gods to be a paradise to mortals, but greed and money takes over the island. Deni, played by Glover, is Kofi’s boyfriend and a local musician. His hope is to unite his island through music. Red Cargo (played by Anozie) is the island’s money-obsessed dictator. Deni plans to throw a music festival for his people, and Red Cargo, fearing workers won’t show up the next day, will do anything to stop it.

Guava Island is an adventure. The film is beautiful and breezy. It’s lighthearted but thought-provoking, which is a dynamic a lot of movies can’t successfully achieve. It holds hopeful undertones, unlike a lot of  Glover/Childish Gambino’s projects. He’s known for bringing awareness to the darker side of life. I’m not complaining, though; it’s fascinating to watch Glover dabble and succeed in executing both cynical and promising messages within his projects.  This film distracted me from reality yet brought the harsh truth of it to my attention. Guava Island leaves you captivated and wanting more. It’s a wonderfully sappy movie focused on love and art. It shows that art is everywhere and that you can’t silence it. Art is alive, art is culture.

I recommend this film to anyone looking for some inspiration, feel-good music or a sentimental story of love, art, and power.

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