about the film

The debut film, 'Soul Diaspora' by the 22-year old Nigerian filmmaker Odera Ozoka is the journey of an African-born immigrant dealing with the harsh realities of assimilation in the unpredictable underbelly of Los Angeles. In many ways, this is a personal film. Shot in twelve days, the film takes its cue from the kind of 1970s 'blaxploitation' genre-pictures, dealing with similar gritty themes.

The story depicts Saidu, a Nigerian immigrant living in Los-Angeles who is forced to overcome sleepless nights of his tormented past in Africa. The audience finds him alone in this modern world, often hearing voices in his head, sometimes not even his, as the film interweaves color and black and white to illustrate this protagonist's conflicted behavior and tortured mental state.

Saidu's 'life's path' brings him to working less than minimum wage at a mechanic shop, forging little by little a friendship with a sixteen-year-old Afghani-American, Reza, the son of the shop's friendly owner. Yet, even then, the mysterious Saidu is unable to fully overcome his alienation and loneliness. He soon meets and bonds with a stripper, Latisha, after frequenting the same bar.

During the film, the audience meets an African-American named Tyrone who may not share Saidu's morality, but is confronted with internal troubles. He is embroiled in a seamy love triangle with Saidu's encounter, Latisha and another woman, Lori, whom he has no feelings for but seems unable -or rather unwilling to rid himself of.

All the characters' souls are stripped to the core by one searing (and national) event, which give them all fresh perspective.

By the film's shocking conclusion, the audience learns about the varying shades of gray in life...

Soul Diaspora Poster