VOD REVIEW: Akilla’s Escape deftly shows the brutality of gang culture

This brutal film about youth being pulled into a life of drugs and crime takes its journey through the eyes of former child criminal Akilla.

Now a grown man, Akilla becomes caught up in a drug robbery at a dispensary. Only there to sell his boss’s product, he watches a man murdered with a machete and the money and drugs be stolen.

Akilla captures one of the robbers, only to discover he’s a 15-year-old boy. As Akilla delves deep into his own past and tribulations, he hopes to save the boy from the same fate.

Co-writer and director Charles Officer creates a transfixing film I couldn’t take my eyes of off.

It burrows deep into the seedly underbelly of organized crime, and gives these characters a breadth and depth I never could have expected.

Lead actor Saul Williams is nuanced as Akilla, and even Thamela Mpumiwana, who plays Young Akilla and Sheppard, gives a performance that was surprisingly effective, to say the least.

Nominated for Best Canadian Feature film at TIFF in 2020, Akilla’s Escape is a movie you’ll never forget.

4.5/5 Stars

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