Yellow Fever (Kenya: 2012)

Director

Ng'endo Mukii

Cast list

Dancers: Chipo Kureya, Sam Nokuzola Moyo, Fumy Opeyemi

As self: Abbriani Njeri, Margaret Njeri Mereka

Credits

Director: Ng'Endo Mukii

Writer: Ng'Endo Mukii

Animator: Ng'Endo Mukii

Composer: Kadialy Kouyate

Cinematographer: Alex MaxNaughton

Synopsis

The film is told through interviews with Mukii’s family, visually represented by stop-motion animation. It opens with a childhood memory of a hairdresser, whose hands and face are bleached white. A little girl speaks about how she wishes to be a magician, so that she herself can transform to  become whiter. Interspersing these excerpts of people speaking about their perceptions of beauty are stylised scenes depicting an African woman’s body and movement, bringing to the fore the physicality of identity explored in the film.

Reviews

“…an impressive piece of mixed-media art, combining hand-drawn animation, computer animation, pixelation, and live action, to make a statement on global standards of beauty and those who control them.”
Obenson, T.A. (2015, March 23) Watch: Kenyan Filmmaker Ng’endo Mukii Tackles ‘Globalized’ Beauty & African Self-Image in Award-Winning Short Film ‘Yellow Fever’. Indiewire. Retrieved from http://www.indiewire.com/2015/03/watch-kenyan-filmmaker-ngendo-mukii-tackles-globalized-beauty-african-self-image-in-award-winning-short-film-yellow-fever-235087/

“In her powerful short film "Yellow Fever," Kenyan artist and filmmaker Ng’endo Mukii explores the relationship between a woman and her skin color, and the hierarchy of globalized beauty imposed on impressionable minds and bodies.”
Frank, P. (2015, March 27) Powerful Short Film Challenges Beauty Ideals That Govern Skin Color. Huffington Post. Retrieved from https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/ngendo-mukii-yellow-fever_n_6949018

Callus, P. (2015) Animation, Fabrication, Photography: Reflections upon the Intersecting Practices of Sub-Saharan Artists within the Moving Image. African Arts 48(3), pp. 58-69

Callus, P. (2017) Remediations of Nonfiction: Animation, Interactivity, and Documentary From Africa. Critical Interventions 11(3), pp. 269-286