Bájúláyé: Ode to Kin is an art film that visualizes the unity of three brothers through dance and movement. Using the words of Frantz Fanon and building on the authentic relationship of the brothers, the film illustrates how expressive movement is a practice of liberation; it’s an exhale after holding your breath, and it’s a connective energy that brings others forward. The oldest brother channels and exerts his love and guidance for his siblings through uninhibited dance. This movement evolves as their connectivity strengthens and is sustained even in their individualism.
The film is a reflection on brotherhood and how it exists in various forms. Non-choreographed movement was our medium to show the connectivity between three individuals as well as to present it as strengthening a bond and liberating oneself. The essence of this film lies in its production. Filmed in one day, many facets of the film were left open for improvisation, including Femi’s amazing freestyle dances and the brothers’ interactions. We kept the narration concise, their interactions simple, and portrayed an everyday activity to show that their unified expression held greater influence together rather than apart.
Bájúláyé was filmed in London, with most of the post-production occurring across time zones. As my first film, I give huge thanks to Somewhere Films, specifically Anna Dobos and Susie Peng, for helping bring this into existence, and Femi for allowing us a personal glimpse into his life, a dedication we make by entitling the film the brothers’ last name.