‘Farewell Amor’ review; Dir. Ekwa Msangi (2020) [LFF]
Ekwa Msangi makes her feature film debut with a story about family and the ties that bind. Dealing with an African family and their immigration to New York City, Msangi delivers a story of cultural specificity that builds on family dynamics and ideas of home, to deliver a story that anyone one of us who has been a husband, a wife, a father, mother or a child can find something within.
Walter (Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine) is an Angolan immigrant who has been living in New York ever since being exiled from his home country 17 years ago. After a long drawn out process, his family is finally joining him. With the arrival of his wife Esther (Zainab Jah) and teenage daughter Sylvia (Jayme Lawson), the three of them begin to live all together for the first time in a small one bedroom apartment. As they become more aware of each other’s differences, their individual resolve is put to the test as they begin to discover who each other are, with some answers proving harder to deal with than others.
Farewell Amor uses a triptych approach to its storytelling, focusing on Walter, Esther and Sylvia’s individual experiences as they start to get to know each other. Each one of them is faced with their own unique challenges involving their identity and how they want to live their lives in America. For Walter, he has lived in this foreign country for 17 years, largely by himself trying to establish income and a place in the community. Now that the daughter he barely knows and the wife he hasn’t seen in 17 years have entered the mix, that life he’s established may not be compatible anymore.
Full review over at THN, originally published October 8th 2020.