By Michael Dequina | March 13, 2001

HOLLYWOOD BLACK FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW! It is not very difficult to see why this South African import won the festival’s jury prize. From its buoyant opening title sequence (featuring a number of lavishly costumed child dancers carrying small chalkboards on which the credits are written) on, Mtutuzeli Matshoba’s comedy is undeniably likable. Especially endearing is lead Fats Bookholane, whose Sipho opens the film by quitting his longtime job at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange to open a “chikin biznis” selling food fowl in the marketplace–leading to all sorts of comic complications.
Unfortunately, these complications are largely of the sitcom variety, with Sipho getting into disputes with rivals and also finding himself having various business troubles. There’s also a thread involving Sipho’s messy romantic life; as his wife toils at home as a dressmaker, he carries on an affair with a woman whose husband is in prison, leading to more broad gags. The actors do a capable job with the material, but it’s not so much light than just plain slight, and the film is just about instantly forgotten when the lights go up.

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