"Through the use of a fable structure, Obasi deftly weaves heavy political, philosophical, and theological ideas together with his keen eye for striking imagery to craft a film that feels both classical and futuristic." Marya E. Gates, RogerEbert.com

"The extra time spent developing the film pays off on screen: From its opening title design to the last notes of Tunde Jegede’s score, MAMI WATA is a work of art." - Katie Rife, Indiewire


'"An immersive experience that transports you to a place both otherworldly and grounded in a brutal reality." - Cassondra Feltus, Black Girl Nerds

In Obasi’s modern fable—rendered in vivid monochromatic black-and-white—in the oceanside village of Iyi, the beloved Mama Efe acts as a mediator between the people and the powerful water deity Mami Wata. After a young boy in the community dies and a mysterious rebel deserter named Jasper arrives in the village, a conflict erupts, leading to a violent clash of ideologies and a crisis of faith for the people of Iyi. Visually sumptuous, MAMI WATA is a hypnotic, gripping folk tale that must be seen on the big screen. Film Center exclusive.

Awards & Nominations

Nominee - Grand Jury Prize, World Cinema - Dramatic, Sundance Film Festival
Winner - 2023 Winner World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Cinematography, Sundance Film Festival 

The Film Center is ADA accessible. This presentation will be projected without open captions. The theater is hearing-loop equipped. For accessibility requests, please email filmcenter@saic.edu