What I’m finding recently is that the independent film is rising in stature, everyone loves a blockbuster, but if you’re looking for a good film with a decent storyline you can’t go far wrong with the independents right now as we have some exceptional talent bursting through. Going Bongo can be added to this list.
Going Bongo follows Dr. Burger (Ernest Napoleon), who lands a job at the prestigious Beverly Hills Medical Centre in Los Angeles, and is eager to impress his new boss. So eager that after attending a Gala arranged by his superiors he ‘accidentally’ volunteers to go work in Africa for a month. Leaving his fiancé behind, Dr. Berger heads to Tanzania to work at an under-resourced hospital and follow through with his promise.
Co-written, produced and starring, Ernest Napoleon, Ernest has produced a film which has a big touching heart. When Dr Burger reluctantly arrives in Tanzania he quickly realises he is without his luxuries and his fellow colleagues are far from professional, mainly because they simply don’t have the funding to support the work they need to carry out to the standard that is needed. This touches on elements of real life and the struggles that these poorer countries go through every day to bring medical care to those that need it the most, giving the film a very human, real life feel to it.
You may think why would we want to see a film about real life when all you want from a movie is to escape the doom and gloom of real life, but don’t let the storyline fool you; Going Bongo is far from being too heavy on the soul. There is an abundance of humour throughout the whole film, making this feel quite light and warming to the heart. Even more so when we witness Dr. Burger, slowly fall in love with the place and passionately tries to get the equipment needed. When he fails to get a simply wheelchair for one of his patients, we see him make one from scratch from any old scrap he finds on his travels.
The only downside to the film is it does take a bit dive towards the end and lose its momentum just a little leaving you feel a little flat but this is uncommon in most films these days. It seems like a lot of filmmakers reach a point where they just want to get it finished and lose their way. However, it does pick back up and finishes on a high.
Going Bongo is one of those surprising feel good movies with a big heart, proving even without a big budget, you can still make something that will entertain the masses.