This article will reveal the best African movies to watch on Netflix this weekend. This list includes movies across genres like comedy and thriller, and from countries like Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa etc. Netflix has heavily prioritized international growth lately—including in Africa. While Netflix’s African content isn’t as prodigious as its content for other regions like East Asia and South Asia, there are still many African movies and shows on the streaming platform.
So, what are the Best African Movies To Watch on Netflix this weekend?
While the majority of African movies on Netflix are from Nigeria’s Nollywood, this list includes non-Nollywood titles as well. As you probably know, there are also great movies on Netflix from other African countries like Ghana, South Africa, Senegal, and beyond. This list below is in no particular order.
1. The Burial of Kojo
Our top choice out of all African movies on Netflix today is The Burial of Kojo. This is a mysticism-tinged movie that raises and arguably redefines artistic standards in African cinema. The movies opens with a girl named Esi reflecting upon her father Kojo. Mystical elements seep into Esi’s life as the story solidifies into a journey where Esi must rescue her father from an abandoned mineshaft.
The Burial of Kojo is written and directed by Ghanian musician Blitz Bazawule, also known by his stage name Blitz the Ambassador. Though The Burial of Kojo is his directorial debut, it has a distinctive cinematic voice that seems both well-informed by preceding filmmaking legends and willing to push boundaries. Unsurprisingly given Bazawule’s background, the film’s fantastic score contains flairs of Afrobeat, and exceptional editing and color choices supercharge sweeping shots achieved through thoughtful camera movements (and drone flying, in some cases).
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2. Road to Yesterday
If you are more interested in romance movies, you will find Road to Yesterday a worthwhile African movie on Netflix. This Nollywood production follows an estranged couple who, on a long drive to a relative’s funeral, try to repair their relationship but end up unearthing more emotional baggage than they bargained for.
The movie offers an understated and slow-paced take on romance that is anchored by the two lead actors’ chemistry. There is no trashy sensationalism or absurd plot twists to derail a simple and enjoyable love story.
Azali was Ghana’s first-ever submission to the in the Best International Feature Film category at the 2018 Oscars. The movie centers on a girl named Amina, who initially lives in a small village in northern Ghana. However, while trying to evade an arranged marriage, Amina gets thrust into the slums of Ghana’s capital city Accra, where she resorts to sex work for survival.
The movie doesn’t stray into ridiculous territory and maintains a pretty steady plot progression. Despite its surprise twist ending, it offers a straight-shooting stark take on life in Accra’s slums. Its production quality and cinematography are also pretty decent.
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4. October 1
Produced by Kunle Afolayan, October 1 is our next selection in this list of best African movies to watch on Netflix. Set in the waning days of colonial Nigeria, October 1 follows a police officer named Danladi Waziri who must solve a murder mystery before Nigeria’s independence day on October 1, 1960.
October 1 stands above many Nollywood movies in terms of production quality and plot. The movie avoids melodrama and sensationalism and it offers a detailed and entertaining look at a period of history that’s not often depicted in cinema. October 1 includes ample commentary on pertinent sociopolitical topics like imperialism, tribalism, and nation-building. If you don’t know about Nigerian history, the movie can serve as an easy entry point for learning more.
5. The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind
Another Africa movie on our list is The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind. The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind dramatizes the fascinating real life story of William Kamkwamba, a Malawian inventor who achieved fame by building wind turbines out of scrap parts to generate electricity for his rural family. British-born and Oscar nominated actor Chiwetel Ejiofor directs and stars in the movie. However, the real star is Maxwell Simba—who plays a young version of Kamkwamba. If you are looking for an inspiring and heartwarming movie from an African context, you should definitely check out The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind.
6. Catching Feelings
South African film Catching Feelings adds another dash of romance to our list while retaining a sense of sociopolitical consciousness. The movie focuses on a university lecturer named Max and his girlfriend Sam, who flit around Johannesburg’s cosmopolitan circles. When a famous white South African writer returns to Max’s university for a book tour, Max finds himself drawn to the writer’s social circles yet resenting the writer’s success. This puts strain on his relationship with Sam.
Narrative complexity isn’t Catching Feelings’ area of expertise. Rather, the film is quite character driven, and contains many light yet thought-provoking musings on racism, classism, and creativity within a post-apartheid South African context.
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Atlantics tells the story of a young woman named Ada. She is about to enter an arranged marriage with a rich man named Omar, but actually loves another man named Souleiman. One day, Souleiman sets off by sea to Europe and Ada hears nothing from him thereafter. As Ada’s wedding date approaches and she longs for Souleiman, a series of mysterious events begin occurring.
Besides intriguing characters, Atlantics has superb cinematography and sound design. The movie’s colors are achingly cool, and a droning soundscape further builds an appropriately haunting and mystical ambience. Even without Diop’s legendary family background, Atlantics more than deserved its Cannes award.
Are there other movies you love on Netflix, use the comment section to share them. We will love to hear from you.
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