Tuesday, February 28th, 2023

Queerguru’s José Mayorga reviews ALL THE COLORS OF THE WORLD ARE BETWEEN BLACK & WHITE winner of TEDDY AWARD 2023


This fictional film from Nigeria just premiered at the Panorama Section of the 73rd annual Berlin International Film Festival. where it won the prestigious TEDDY AWARD  Queerness is a taboo topic in Nigeria, one of the most difficult countries in the world to be an LGBT+ person,  people there can face up to 10 years in jail for being part of anything considered a gay social club or group, and up to 14 years if in a same-sex relationship (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-62405259 ).

The film, written and directed by Babatunde Apalowo and beautifully shot by David Wyte, introduces us to Bambino (Tope Tedela), who earns his living as a delivery man who moves around the hostile city of Lagos on a motorcycle,  and also Bawa (Riyo David) who owns Click Photography, a small shop in the neighborhood that Bambino uses to visit since he likes to be captured by his camera.

The story of the two men develops around photography shooting, as it allows them to get together and wander around, and a kind of friendship flourishes while Bambino is pictured in the landmarks of the city.  The men are attracted to each other and we see some subtle details between them, although everyone has reactions to this appeal; unfortunately, they can’t be together because what people may say, their lives are ruled by social codes and have implications with the community. In a country of 180 million inhabitants divided into Muslims and Christians, Nigeria is a scary country in which to be gay; homosexuality is illegal, no fundamental human rights are observed and since 2014 there is the Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act is to prohibit marriage between persons of the same sex. In reality, its scope is much wider. The law forbids any cohabitation between same-sex sexual partners and bans any “public show of same-sex amorous relationship.

During day or nighttime motorcycle rides and in the privacy of Bambino´s apartment,  most of the time the men are silent or communicate in brief dialogues, perhaps tired of wanting something that never really hadn’t happened but thinking that if it feels good being together it must be right.

Ifeyinwa (Martha Ehinone Orhiere) provides contrast to the story, she has lonely  Bambino as her mentor and wants him to be her first sexual encounter,  she also has an aspiration and makes it loud and clear later at her engagement. The film also shows shadows from the past and wounds that have not healed. 

As Bawa says quoting his mother: talking through things helps manage pains. There is a significant sequence of the men talking, one asks the other: Do you think we are just wasting our time? Bambino answers:  Time is eternal, it is always running. We can waste our lives.

An intimate portrait of yearning desire in an adverse social context,  and to Queerguru’s knowledge it is only the 6th queer film to be produced in Nigeria,  and is not to be missed.   



Review by José Mayorga , Guatemala, Central America lawyer and notary public, visual artist, and editor of El Azar Cultural, lives and works in Guatemala City. Cinema lover, curious about the possibilities life brings and eager to live the experience.

Posted by queerguru  at  15:30


Genres:  coming of age, coming out, international

Follow queerguru

Search This Blog

View queertiques By: