List Film

Abaabi ba boda boda (The Boda Boda Thieves)

  • 2015
  • South Africa / Germany / Kenya / Uganda
  • 85 min
  • Directed by: Donald Mugisha / James Tayler
  • Cast: Hassan 'Spike' Insingoma, Saul Mwesigwa, Prossy Rukundo

Performance times

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Kampala, Uganda serves as the backdrop for a free reworking of Italian neorealist classic The Bicycle Thieves by South African/Ugandan film co-operative Yes! That’s Us. Abel is a sullen young Kampala teen maintaining the appearance of being a good Christian kid for the benefit of his hard-grafting parents. In actuality he’s gambling and hanging out with local street gangs rather than finding work. When Abel’s father, who drives the eponymous boda (a motorcycle taxi), is injured on the job Abel is forced to step up and deputise, to help pay off his father’s debts. However, the new freedoms the boda presents to Abel come to outweigh any sense of commitment and responsibility. This renegade film, shot almost entirely on location, depicts Ugandan youth in thrall to the bling of football stars playing for the likes of Chelsea, whilst their devout parents scrabble together just enough to keep their heads above water.

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