Movie Short Review: ‘Da Yie’

Greetings again from the darkness. A group of kids chasing a chicken through the streets and back alleys for the privilege of choosing teams is the light-hearted way the movie opens. It may only be a 20 minute film, but that chicken chase provides one of the very few moments we aren’t filled with a sense of dread. Director Anthony Nti and writer Chingiz Karibekov deliver a tension-packed short film based in Ghana that plays to the greatest fear of any parent.

“My mom will kill me” are words uttered by most every kid at some point during childhood, and here it’s Prince (Prince Agortay) who is dodging the wrath of his mother after sneaking off to play soccer with his friend Matilda (Matilda Echnil). Prince is a quiet kid, unsure of the world, while Matilda is outgoing and adventurous. It’s Matilda’s brash attitude that leads the two into the “cool” car driven by a stranger. Bogah (Goua Robert Grovoqui) is a local nickname for anyone not from the area – in other words, he’s a foreigner.

Enticing the kids with a buffet and trip to the sea, Bogah clearly has unsavory intentions with the kids, but as viewers, we can’t quite get a grip. He seems to really like the kids, but there is an inevitability that engulfs each scene. Most of the film has elapsed by the time we see where things are headed, and by then we share a knot in the gut with the kids. The title of the film translates to “Good night”, and until the end, we aren’t sure exactly what form of the phrase applies.

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