You Absolutely MUST Watch Heaven Shall Burn’s New Wakaliwood Video
Ugandan filmmaker Isaac Nabwana (a.k.a. “Nabwana IGG”) is an inspiration to all artists, regardless of your medium. Why? Here, read this excerpt from a 2016 piece on Birth.Movies.Death.:
“For years, [Isaac Nabwana] has been making films in the slums of Wakaliga, on the outskirts of the Ugandan capital city of Kampala. These films have been made with practically no money, often literally cobbled together with whatever local resources they can find. But this lack of resources has not impeded his ambition or scope, because iIc makes passionate, VFX-filled action / genre films. And he does so in the same exact way a lot of kids made films in their back yard. But [we] cannot overstate the difficulties of making these films in this climate. Wakaliga is a place that gets electricity maybe 3 days a week (and thus shooting has to be planned around the battery life for the camera). He shoots with whatever equipment he’s been able to scrounge together. He taught himself to edit and and do effects purely through trial and error. And when you look at the ambition, you will see we’re talking about a sheer VFX volume that takes an insane amount of work. The level of commitment is staggering.
“This would be remarkable on its own, but in the years that he has been making films, he’s also slowly accrued a plethora of actors and crew members from his village who have come to not only ‘fill out the team’ but be a part of the very fabric of the enterprise. It is the genuine “it takes a village” mantra made real, mechanics will briefly become production designers, neighbors become action stars, his wife edits and basically runs the business, and it practically seems like everyone is ready to jump in and be a stuntman at a moment’s notice. All of this speaks to the fact that you don’t often hear of Isaac’s name when you talk about these movies (as he rarely puts his name out there). Instead, you mostly hear about the studio itself:
Also worth noting: Wakaliwood movies reportedly cost about $200 each to produce. They are the very embodiment of the DIY ethic metal so greatly values. The resulting films (the most famous are 2010’s Who Killed Captain Alex? and 2016’s Bad Black) would seem ridiculous under normal circumstances… but again, they are absolutely not made under normal circumstances. When you consider the context in which they’re created, they are nothing short of miraculous.
And by the way, those narrators aren’t just for the trailer — they’re part of the movie. Known as a “V.J.” (for “Video Joker”), the narrator is basically the cinematic equivalent of a hype man. (This role is filled for all Wakaliwood productions by a man known as V.J. Emmie.) Sometimes the V.J.’s role is expositional, but often he’s just going nuts about how cool the flick is (“SUPA ACTION!” is a commonly used phrase).
I don’t know why it took a metal band so long to commission a music video from Wakaliwood (in fact, this is Wakaliwood’s first music video in any genre as far as I’m aware), but Germany’s Heaven Shall Burn have done just that for their new single, “Eradicate.” The resulting clip is THE music video to beat in 2020 (yes, even better than yesterday’s Crematory video), and it’s unlikely that anyone will top it.
And yes, it includes running commentary from V.J. Emmie.
You absolutely MUST watch this video, which you can do below. “Eradicate” will appear on Heaven Shall Burn’s new album, Of Truth and Sacrifice, which comes out March 20 on Century Media. You can pre-order it here. Learn more about Wakaliwood here.