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Saturday, 16 April 2016

ACKEE & SALTFISH - A Cecile Emeke Short Film & Web Series

Image Source: http://www.ackeeandsaltfish.co.uk/about/
"Ackee & Saltfish" is the witty and insightful brainchild of London-based cinematographer, Cecile  EmekeThe original short film follows best friends Olivia and Rachel (played by Michelle Tiwo and Vanessa Babirye respectively) as they embark on a Sunday afternoon search for Ackee and Saltfish takeout in gentrified London. It is a dish that is usually easily accessible due to the history of British colonialism (1655 – 1962) and years of Jamaican immigration to the UK after World War IIHowever, as gentrification spreads through traditionally immigrant neighbourhoods in the capital city, restaurants serving cultural classics like oxtail, curry goat or ackee and saltfish are becoming scarce, rapidly replaced with juice bars and hipster coffee shops. Emeke’s short film tackles this issue of gentrification with honesty and humour.


The web series,which consists of a trailer and 5 full episodes, delves deeper into Rachel and Olivia’s friendship with a lighthearted look at music, culture and the quotidian experiences of being a 20-something woman.  Each episode is approximately 5 – 7 minutes long and while the series is set in London, the emotions represented are universal. From practical jokes to spontaneous dance parties in a store while taking refuge from a rainstorm, the joy and beauty of true friendship shines through with remarkable clarity.  



As negative stereotypes about black women abound in media, it is refreshing to see Cecile, Vanessa and Michelle take control of the narrative and demonstrate the serious and the silly, the goofy and the genuine. It is a sharp, nuanced depiction of the black female experience too often forgotten in mainstream film. Ackee and Saltfish is a must-see for you, your best friend and maybe even someone with a craving for Caribbean cuisine. 

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