By Prisca sam-duru & anino aganbi
The screening of “The Blue Eyes Of Yonta,” an intimate look at the compelling life of a young woman growing up in Guinea-Bissau, set in 1992 by Women’s Film Club, portrays the organisation as a strong platform that aims to make independent cinema accessible to the Nigerian public.
Founded by Wunika Mukan, as a curated program of film screenings, forum discussions, and related exhibitions, The Women’s Film Club explores the role and participation of women in film, as well as the relevance of contemporary filmmaking to an African and global audience.
As part of its objective to screen independent films in Lagos not otherwise shown in mainstream cinemas as well as special projects that include retrospectives and art exhibitions relating to filmmaking and audiovisual works, The Women’s Film Club previewed a film titled, The Blue Eyes of Yonta.
Directed by Flora Gomez, The Blue Eyes of Yonta is set to open a new perspective on Bissau after its liberation from Portugal. The screening is also geared towards utilising the film as a tool to spark positive conversation and inspire action in innovative ways regarding women.
The film is an amazing romantic comedy about the most beautiful girl in Bissau. The movie unlike its title tends to portray, does not have a beauty or romantic subject but presents clashes between dreams and realities of a society. “Yonta’s ‘blue’ eyes are a metaphor for dreams, ones as vast as the face of the sea.
The film, which has a love plot played-down by a powerful message of culture and socio-economy conflicts in a burgeoning African society, explores an important theme of socio-economic development in the African context.”
The Blue Eyes of Yonta tells the story of Yonta, a beautiful young woman growing up in the city of Bissau, a generation after liberation from portugal. “She develops a secret crush for Vicente, a family friend and a hero of the independence struggle, beginning a story of unrequited love amid this evolving city.
Meanwhile, Yonta herself has a secret admirer, a shy young man named ZE, who sends her love letters copied from a Scandinavian book. A lovely, delicate work about youthful illusions, both personal and shared, Gomez’s second feature is also an intimate analysis of Guinea-Bissau’s post liberation society, where sense of disillusionment lingers in the air. It also perfectly demonstrates Gomez’s talent for eliciting wonderfully nuanced performances.”