21
Feb
2020
Shine Your Eyes / Cidade Pássaro

Shine Your Eyes / Cidade Pássaro

Nigerian musician Amadi (O.C. Ukeje) arrives in São Paulo, Brazil, looking for his errant elder brother Ikenna (Chukwudi Iwuji). Having left a tissue of lies left in his wake, Amadi discovers that Ikenna has become consumed by an existential formula that might hold the key to reincarnation. As he follows the clues, Amadi asks himself whether he is getting closer to the truth or just Ikenna’s lies?

...an absorbingly, arresting journey which is as impenetrable as it is seductive...

‘Shine Your Eyes’ is a hypnotically-told film about falling without ever landing. In what seems like an on-going quest with no end in sight, Amadi crisscrosses São Paulo in what often feels like a well-intentioned homage to director Carol Reed’s ‘The Third Man’.

Sifting through all the different names and pasts that Ikenna has given to his friends and acquaintances, Amadi starts to question whether he ever knew his brother at all. Unable to let his memory go, Amadi becomes obsessed with tracking him down, who it seems has become consumed by a mathematical theory that is continually taking him away from who he used to be.

Boasting committed performances from O.C. Ukeje as Amadi and convincingly intense Chukwudi Iwuji as Ikenna, ‘Shine Your Eyes’ is an endearing search where a younger man learns more about himself than his older quarry. That said, do not place too much expectation on the film’s outcome. In what is becoming an increasing trend for ‘ unapologetic abruptness’, this another movie that deliberately short circuits a decent build-up with no later intention to explain itself.

Deliberately dense and interestingly grasping at gravitational notions as to ‘existence’, ‘Shine Your Eyes’ is an absorbingly, arresting journey which is as impenetrable as it is seductive.