I am the child of immigrants. And I have lived amongst migrants, and sought to be the voice of the voiceless, all my life. Consequently this spell-binding film really spoke to me. It spoke a truth about the migrant experience that no book or speech could convey. It is an important counter narrative to the anti-immigrant hate speech all around us. And it is also an extra-ordinarily beautiful and evocative film.Diane Abbott MP
I must congratulate you on a very inspiring and beautiful film. The film had a profound effect on me, you explored the poetic dislocation and spiritual side of the psyche of the exile levitating between two realms. These issues have preoccupied me in all of the years I have lived away from home.Yinka Shonibare
We have all at one time or the other experienced migration in our life. How it happens and how it affects the individual is what differs.
Through your inspirational and captivating film, you have, in a little over half an hour, touched the roots of the fire that burns in the soul of the immigrants and their voicelessness. It is a mind-boggling experience that needs to be shared with desperate, aspiring migrants - especially in the continent. JOY, IT'S NINA is a meeting point of simple artistic beauty that communicates.Peter Badejo OBE
I was so thrilled by your film, so moved, so proud to know you, so impressed by you and so emotional. Joy, congratulations. I remember sitting with you and Adjoa years ago saying we needed to make our own work and you exploring some of your history and the ideas you might weave into your story. I remember thinking how rich it was and wondering how, as with my own stories, you could edit it into something that would be an adequate expression of some of what you might want to communicate. And then there, on screen, through your collaboration with that other amazing woman was a piece of art that does such justice to your story. How amazing! I am so impressed.
I want to show it to my daughters, to the people on my course, to the Black Mental Health Network, to everybody. It is so beautiful.Janice Acquah
It was a very unexpected film, full of suspense and culture and symbolism (that I couldn’t always grasp but Ben put me back on track on some things... living in a world of fairies, mermaids and flying heroes, obviously he’s got one dimension I don’t have!!).
As a whole I thought the film was really pleasant and raised some very deep issues without giving you headaches, there was culture, humour and thank you! no politics!! Educational and inspirational, yet not arrogant, definitely a woman thing, minimally feminist, just the right dose...Claudie
'Poetry in motion' is how I'd describe it. I was completely drawn in by the totality of it. Everything blended together so well - visually and narratively. Loved the mysticism of it and the elusiveness of the story, the way you didn't quite grasp everything the first time, but that it was OK. Loved James' music and how unobtrusive it was. Loved the cinematography, the juxtaposing images and the colours. Loved the simplicity of the words. Thought you really did this piece justice. So glad I went to see it. Well done all of you. Well done Joy!Carmen Harris. Script Writer
J and J Thanks for a beautiful night! For us all to see you both work so well together. Your cinematography Jane captured Joy's special beauty. we were enraptured!
Sincere Thanks for a very special evening!funmi pearce
Clarity and seamless editing. Well done. We are all intoxicated by the images. Great evening.Sokari Douglas Camp
The opening first shot, which looked like a low angle on an epic landscape, then you realise it’s a person in a cape. The shot of the performer climbing over the wire fence that just catches her bare feet – the way the fluttering fan is echoed in the score. There is a real sense of control about it all a real vision and it doesn’t feel like you were essentially on your own at all! There’s a real sense of control over the visual look and the edit rhythm is very sparse – I was gripped. I got lost on occasions but went with it and I thought the inter cutting of all the women personas at the end brought together a sense of closure about the theme of identity – somehow the metaphor of the statues seemed very appropriate for this moment.
The imagery was very powerful.
I had no idea what to expect but was really thrilled. I thought she had a very interesting screen presence very physical and dramatic. Surprised I haven’t seen her more on UK TV.Ged Maguire
Congratulations on a wonderful film - stirring, thought-provoking and many-layered.Jane Whyatt
Just wanted to say that I really like your film. It is very strong, and memorable. Playful and harrowing all at once. Very layered. I think the projection was good. Colours are good. All that red! not easy to manage. Sometimes things are a little bit too bright/light for my taste, but I have terrible taste for grading, so there.
Anyway. It was a very distinctive and a complex experience, so well done. I hope it does very well in festivals, I'm sure it will.Sylvie Bringas
I just wanted to say that your film was a wonderful experience; the imagery and dialogue were evocative and thought provoking. A very satisfying excursion of imagination and joy.
Is this a new approach of the art form. There are of course scenes that have etched into my being. In particular when you leave your family waving them goodbye with your two babies.
Naturally the whole experience was one of witnessing the selected memory captured in a moving art form.
Perhaps this is the next epoch in the experience of the movie documentary.Frederick Jacques
Just seen the best film by Joy Elias-Rilwan, so moving it made me laugh and cry...brilliant! A film about women, for everyone, with themes that reach right into your psyche and pull out your oldest memories. Global shared experiences of pain, loss and leaving. Every mother's desire to see her children have a better life and the consequences of separation from home, culture, close and extended family. No matter how well that child does in the world, have they lost their history, their connections with their culture, and their inheritance? Does the grief ever heal? Is their new life enough to give up so much? Does what they gain ever make up for what they have lost? A film to really make you think about choices.
The imagery is beautiful with arty shots and flowing red robes which flutter, float and drip pink suds, evoking by turns billowing sails, family blood lines and bloody wars...many interpretations to intrigue and question.
Nina Simone is present throughout by voice, in messages left for Joy which are both hilarious and disturbing, yet they also have the same theme, is the success worth it in the end? Is what was lost ever replaced by the supposed gain? She was a talented brilliant woman who was tortured by her situation and suffered enormously because of it. Was money and fame ever sufficient compensation for loss of privacy, friends, and ultimately...self?
I don't know where or when this film is showing again, but look out for it and go...highly recommended.Heather Harte. Lecturer
Just wanted to say that I really enjoyed your film. Wonderful colours and multiple layers. Well done I think this is the best one so far and I really like the more 'arty' approach.Julie Lambden
Congratulations for an incredible piece of work between you guys and Jane; an incredible concept with giant beanstalk seeds such as Nina's tape messages to you. Frustratingly and perhaps rightly you left me/the audience wanting more especially at the end of screening when during the Q&A you mentioned other tapes from Nina not deemed PC to include. Maybe that's an all too obvious carrot on a stick as this versatile piece of film has a myriad of ideas and concepts that endorse your individuality like that of Nina and rightly proud feminine stance in the mighty cosmos. I enjoyed the symbolism and magical images; your spiritual embrace on many levels and endorsement of Nigerian culture proudly and naturally displayed for the world to see to to think on't! A near diasporan montage showing the relevant connections to Home and survivalist versatility on hostile shores. My honesty and criticism brings me to mention my frustration of the beautiful imagery marred by your non commitment to smoking that cigarette! As an ex smoker myself, to see the pleasure of one inhaling the secrets of the cosmos, to enhance a mind altering esoteric state and bridge communication wth the higher source(s) - well, that was the initial purpose with tobacco as practiced by the first-nation American shamans in their 'peace pipes' - was/is a real significant spiritual, metaphysical gesture that I felt somewhat cheated of. Perhaps non smokers would be none the wiser but I saw and felt the need to mention this lost beautiful moment. It just brought me momentarily out of my enjoyment - it's rare to sit and thoroughly enjoy watching a film, especially when you know people in it, and not be constantly analysing or criticising as it's our profession and so we naturally do it more than ordinary citizens - still, enjoy it I did for the most part. I personal hope is that you flesh it out into a full feature. May the stars align!Anthony Ofoegbu
Really enjoyed your film, stunning and intriguing images, loved the seamless transitions from Sussex coast to Lagos, fab. Intriguing ‘story’ too. Sure it will do well on the festival circuit.Clive Gill
A note of thanks and gratitude for Wednesday night.
At once, the film is a powerful living record of our Dear Joy and the echoes of many lives.
I want to buy a copy in time. My wish is for the kids to watch and know this film and let it stir their imaginations.
The music is masterful and the images stunning.Kristian Mutsumi Kohteru Kiran & Kiku
P.S - this was the first time I've heard you speak Yoruba!
I've just watched 'Joy it's Nina'. Brilliantly inventive and moving - beyond documentary, puts everything else to shame.
The performance work is so well formed. You must make more and more.
I love it - Joy is incredible-Terry Flaxton
What a great piece of work and what a time to screen it. Birth and death are really the two sides of the same coin. You did well.
The film is visually stunning. You could get a million postcards from the vid caps of the movie. The camera work was sharp clear and precise. The use of colour was dramatic.
The film illustrated the conflicts and tensions between the aspirations of the women and their reality. It also spoke clearly to the differences in the world they left and the world they have come to. It clearly depicts some of the tragic outcomes resulting from the divergence between the two.
My favourite scenes were the face painting sectioning scene, and more powerfully, the celebration of the departure where the goat is slaughtered in the yard with the BMW X5 off roader parked in the background. Traditional and modern worlds sitting cheek by jowl!!
The editing makes the movie an art flick. The narrative is hard to deduce without knowledge of the context of the movie, but is quite transparent when you know about the lives of the characters.
This film tells it as it is. It goes straight to the lotus sutra without the provisional teachings to prepare the viewer. It's honest true and uncompromising. I hope you are as proud about it as I feel!!
What an amazing film! Beautifully shot and so deep. The interweaving of stories, images, thoughts and observations combined with James' incredible music was so moving.
The red was evocative: life force, blood, energy, the earth....
Your film in many ways is a celebration of many aspects of many things,cultural,spiritual, metaphysical. It is a celebration and a testimony of survival and a response to anyone who ever said anything to you that you couldn't respond to because you were not in the position to then.
This film is also a great tribute to your parents.
You have a voice.
Take careFolasade Oyeleye