Childish Gambino and Rihanna’s Guava Island celebrates life in the Caribbean

Scene from Guava Island

Following the April 11, 2019, showing of Childish Gambino and Rihanna’s musical film at the first week of Coachella 2019 and its premiere on Amazon for the rest of the world, the movie has been trending on social media and has been highly acclaimed by several film critics and bloggers who all share the same thought that this might just be Rihanna’s best performance in a movie.

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The reception to the movie pushed Rihanna, who played the lead female role of Kofi to take to social media and pour her gratitude to her millions of fans who in turn thanked her for a stellar presentation.

The 55-minute musical film is not just a showcase of what great things stars can produce when they work together or the brilliant creative that Donald Glover (Childish Gambino) and his family is; the story was scripted by his younger brother Steven Glover and has Gambino play the lead male role as Deni Maroon.

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It is a celebration of the rich history of the Caribbean and the importance of if it’s music and world famous carnivals and festivals to its people.

The movie explores the themes of oppression, poverty, freedom, unity and leadership through the lives of the ordinary population who are most affected by all these in any country.

Childish Gambino and Rihanna's Guava Island celebrates life in the Caribbean

In the movie, Donald Glover is Deni Maroon, a young musician who has a dream of starting a one-day music festival for the people of Guava Island who have been oppressed by Red Cargo (played by Nonso Anozie) who owns several businesses on the island and forces everyone to work 7 days a week while he makes much of the profit. Deni risks his life to make this happen although the odds are against him and his girlfriend Kofi (Rihanna) isn’t very impressed.

Guava Island Donald Glover Rihanna Wonderland
Music festival scene from Guava Island

It is not hard to put two and two together, Childish Gambino’s character’s surname is Maroon, and his role in the movie is a hero of the island, a symbolism of the Maroons who rebelled and fought against slavery and colonisation over 300 years ago. Perhaps the one-day festival also goes a long way to show that although several of these rebellions were short-lived, many of them left a significant mark in history while others contributed to the end of slavery one way or the other. Whiles Red Cargo represents the many slave masters and colonisers, Kofi represents the many islanders who go with the flow.

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On a happier note, the music lifts the spirit of the people bringing them together in ways that speak volumes and shows the historical significance and importance of music and festivals in the Caribbean, many of which started under similar circumstances.

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Shot in Cuba, Guava Island represents a taste of the bittersweetness of the Caribbean through memories and music and gives a taste of the lives of the ordinary masses. There could not have been a better name for the Island.

The movie definitely leaves you glued to your seat, its length leaves you begging for more making you want to take the next trip to the Caribbean. It also shows the many stories yet to be told in the Caribbean.

Last Edited by:Victor Ativie Updated: April 27, 2020


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