Donald Glover (no relation to Danny Glover) is the mastermind behind the music of Childish Gambino. You may have heard his song “This Is America” which is a raw piece of music that also has a very powerful and controversial music video directed by collaborator Hiro Murai. The two teamed up together again to make a beautiful yet poignant 1 hour movie, Guava Island, available now on Amazon Prime, and premiered it at this year’s Coachella festival leading up to Childish Gambino’s headlining set. I admit, I can’t get enough of Childish Gambino and Glover is way ahead of his time, so I was really looking forward to seeing him in this film, starring alongside Rihanna.
Guava Island is a story about a young musician seeking to hold a festival to liberate the oppressed people of Guava Island, even if only for a day. This film shows a parallel for artistry and capitalism, while also serving as a visual album for some of Childish Gambino’s best tracks. Rihanna plays Kofi Novia, a seamstress and the inspiration for her boyfriend Deni Maroon’s (Glover) music. Deni’s beautiful tunes unite the island’s working class, who toil away for the dictator Red Cargo, but he has dreams to run away with Kofi. *SPOILER ALERT!* SPOILER ALERT!* Red hears of Deni’s plans for a revolution and has him killed, leading to a factory walk-out and public funeral for the musical martyr.
If you enjoy the music of Childish Gambino and Donald Glover’s work in general, you will thoroughly enjoy this short film.