Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Cocoa Critic: HBO Films' Yesterday

HBO's Yesterday is one of those films you know you'll love from the moment the opening credits begin. From the wide shot of African landscape, you're aware that this isn't typical Hollywood fare. Filmed entirely in the South African Zulu language (the first film ever to do so), this Academy Award nominee (Best Foreign Language Film) is gripping and poignant in it's tale of the arrival of AIDS to a small village and the devastation it brings.

Leleti Khumalo, who first won acclaim in 1993's Sarafina, gives a powerful performance as Yesterday, a hard-working villager who's life is changed when she is diagnosed with HIV. Undeterred by the rejection of her village, Yesterday is determined to see that her 5-year old daughter, Beauty, receives an education before she dies; something Yesterday was denied as a youth.

This film will make you cry, laugh and thank God that the producers decided to film the movie in Zulu. The language is like music to your ears and it's wonderful to see (and hear) rural South Africa vividly brought to life.

Check out Leleti Khumalo and this wonderful film on HBO or a video store near you. You'll be glad that you did.

The Cocoa Lounge Rating: **** (4/5 Stars)