Heart-warming movies make great crowd pleasers. At the Sydney Film Festival so far this year, a clear crowd favourite is AFRICA UNITED, which stands a good chance of taking out the Audience Award. At its screening, the packed cinema was filled with laughs and at the end of the film, an enthusiastic round of applause from satisfied cinema-goers.
AFRICA UNITED follows a group of young people on a quest to get from Rwanda to South Africa to fulfil their dreams of going to the World Cup. The predominantly young cast is universally likeable. Eriya Ndayambaje, who plays the main character of Dudu, is disarmingly charming, and his great big eyes convey complex emotions. The journey Dudu and his friends go on is full of adventures, beautiful sceneries, unexpected twists and perhaps surprisingly, also a handful of sad moments. The filmmakers have definitely not shied away from touching on many of the serious issues faced by Africa's younger generation today.
The overall tone of the movie, however, is a positive one, one that is filled with hope and dreams. Seeing the young characters face their problems with such courage and optimism is certainly uplifting. Watching this delightful film is like going on a tour through the continent of Africa that is both enjoyable and worthwhile.