By Krystal Jimenez

Ayanda, directed by Sara Blecher, depicts a bright eyed 21-year-old Ayanda, who aspires to keep the memory of her late father present by working in his mechanic garage. She enjoys to recycle and rebirth objects she finds into new furniture. Her story is shown through the lens of photographer and aspiring filmmaker, Anthony Bila. His goal is to capture Africa’s culture and showcase the beauty and flare of what different people have to offer in the melting pot of Yeoville. While he does channel the authenticity of the area, he discovers the beautiful story of Ayanda’s journey to self-renewal.

Ayanda and the Mechanic is a coming of age story of a twenty one year old Afro hipster, who embarks on a journey of self discovery trying to keep the memory of her father alive, when she's thrown into a world of greasy overalls, gender stereotypes and abandoned vintage cars in need of a young woman's re inventive touch who tries to reclaim what would've been, what could've been. (Image from Ayanda Facebook page)

Ayanda’s father’s garage hold deep meaning for Ayanda, and her mother, which will be unraveled later in the film. Even though Ayanda has so many obstacles to overcome, she remains head-strong. She countlessly displays acts of humility and humbleness. Despite circumstances repeatedly thrown at her, she stays hopeful and positive always trying to find solutions. You can’t help but to fall in love with her strong-willed character, rooting her on from the sidelines.

With countless forces working against her, she receives guidance and sacrifice from some helpful hands in unexpected ways. People see that she is a hard worker, but they do not believe in her, and that’s where she wants to prove them wrong with her new idea. Ayanda has a change of character when things start to crumble. Her mind gets muddied and shocking plot twists take place as well as unpredictable romances.

This romance drama posses comedic relief in between serious themes, giving it a lighthearted feel. Make sure to keep an eye out for those underlying messages though! There are some phenomenal quotes embedded in the film that I’m already eager to share. Many unique factors play into this film, one being the use of South African language, interchanging with English. Don’t fret, there are subtitles!

The story builds in a beautiful and natural way. You are always learning new information throughout the film. Another plausible feature of this film is its style. For instance, you get animation, and a mixture of pictures to help tell the story. Likewise, it is blended with tones of fashion, culture and scenery throughout that inspires me to learn more about the African culture.

I thoroughly enjoyed the music played through this film. I felt that it followed the mood of each scene perfectly and overall sounded great! I deeply admired every aspect of this film from its sweet elements to its quirky essence. You get to hear a vast amount of stories from people from all walks of life. This film of tragedy, triumph, romance, and re connection is a must see this weekend at the festival in Denton.

Ayanda runs 105 minutes and will be shown on Sunday as part of Film Block 2 at 5:25 p.m. To see the full Denton Black Film Festival schedule and to purchase tickets, click here.