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Movie Review: Loukman Ali’s Katera Of The Punishment Island

Loukman Ali has made a name for himself as one of Uganda’s best directors, with successes like “Blind Date,” “Sixteen Rounds,” and “The Girl In The Yellow Jumper.” He has now earned a spot on Netflix with “Katera Of The Punishment Island,” which tells an original Ugandan story about the banishment of girls who become pregnant before marriage. This is a forgotten story that dates back to the 1950s.

In just 27 minutes, Loukman manages to tell a story that could have easily taken two hours. He uses typical African elements like huts, music, and indigenous language to make the story more African, although the use of horses doesn’t fit in the African context.

Nadia Gisella’s costumes are well-designed to fit the African context and tell the viewer who each character is. Gregory, an agent of the colonialists, is well-dressed in colonial attire, while the Africans are dressed in old colonial attire, suggesting that the colonialists have already penetrated the land. The addition of a gun adds to the impression.

Loukman stars experienced actors, including Tracy Kababiito, Michael Wawuyo Jr., Michael John Wawuyo, and River Dan Rugaju. The only actor who doesn’t seem to fit in is Michael John Wawuyo, who plays Gregory. He is spoken of as a dangerous character, but he doesn’t show it at the time he needs to. His dialogue is not fierce enough to make him a great threat to the two rescuers.

His editing skills are excellent, and the other departments also perform well. “Katera Of The Punishment Island” is part of the African Folktales Re-imagined project, a collaboration between Netflix and UNESCO, which premiered on March 29, 2023, along with five other movies from Tanzania, South Africa, Nigeria, Mauritania, and Kenya