Video Review: Madonna “Batuka”

At Sao Julaio Beach in Sintra, Portgual, white sheets s hang on a clothesline near a home. A cross stands near the ocean. A message on the screen reads: “Batuque is a style of music created by woman that originated in Cape Verde, some say the birth place of slave trade.”

The woman of Orquestra Batukadeiras walk inside the home. A woman closes the door.

The message on screen reads: “The drums were condemned by the Church and taken away from the slaves because it was considered an act of rebellion.”

In black-and-white, a thirtysomething woman idances n the center of circle as the other women hit their thighs with their hands.

A message reads: “The women continued their singing and dancing and the Batuque lives on today.”

The women sit on a bench in the home with navy blue blankets wrapped around themselves. A twentysomething woman sits by the stairs and falls asleep. A twentysomething woman and sixtysomething woman hold hands by the ocean.

The women clap by the beach. As they leave the home, some women carry buckets of fruit.

Madonna sings with the women as they sit on the bench inside the home. She bangs on a leather drum and dances with them.

The women dance by the ocean.

In a studio, the women play their drums near microphones as Madonna sings and dances in the center.  She holds hands as she sings with them. While she dances, one of the women sings into the microphone.

Madonna balances a water bottle on her head.

The women watch the grey sky above them. A tear rolls down a fiftysomething’s woman cheek as she watches hawk fly away. The sky clears up as they continue to hold hands.

Rating: 5/5

While walking to the market in Cape Verde, Madonna hears the sounds of drums and singing. She listens as several women dance and sing near the stores in the area. She  joins them in their dance. They ask her how she’s been and she says she’s well. She explains she’s been working a lot. They invite her over to dinner. She says she’ll give them a call.

Back at home, she calls her children and says she’ll pick them up in the morning. Her daughter says she knows her way there and not to worry. Madonna tells she wants to sees them as much as she can. She dances around the kitchen to batuque music.

Sitting by the ocean, she watches as the waves crash to the shore. She has been everywhere and seen each wonder of the world. There’s a purpose for her in Portugal. She knows her family are safe and away from the chaos back home. However, she has the found peace she has been looking for since she first left Michigan.

Director: Emmanuel Adjei Year: 2019

Pam Avoledo Administrator
Pam Avoledo spends her time binge-watching classic teen dramas and stands firm in her pro-Leyton stance. She also received her journalism degree in 2006 from Oakland University. Her poetry has been published in the White Wall Review and 45 Magazine.

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