One World- A screenplay by Jean-Baptiste Moke
Hey yall, what’s good?
Well on my side, it’s change. Brutally uncomfortable, but you know what they say, it’s good for you and what not. As you may recall, I recently moved to Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. It’s been an experience, and I hope to tell the tale in a future article.
Today, I’m doing something a little different. I’m writing a review, my first ever review for my first time ever…reading a screenplay. I was humbled to receive a copy of Jean – Baptiste’s screenplay entitled ‘One World’, which in the writer’s own words is a comedy-drama which shares a bizarre yet funny perception of the world around us. The screenplay is divided into two parts; it starts with Linda, the lead actress talking to her boyfriend Young about life. The second part of the screenplay finds Young and his friend Yemoko (Yemoko is black, but his name sounds Japanese to me, though I am pretty sure Ye Moko actualy, means ‘himself’ in Lingala.) talking about… life.
So, where do I start?
I read the screenplay once. Not really knowing what to expect, I was intimidated by the sheets of paper that I had set out to read. When I finally read the screenplay, I was hella confused. What was I supposed to take from the story I had just read? It seemed as though there was no actual focus to the story, and the characters were merely existing to spill out lines, each one more confusing than the other. So, I went to bed with that confusion. And then throughout the following day, little snippets of the screen play started coming back to me. And boy did I enjoy the aftermath.
Linda’s opening statement: that there were only two types of people in this world (Taxi drivers who got their directions from others, and bus drivers who had a set route of their own), started to resonate. Which one was I? Could I be both? My questioning led to my understanding of what I now believe is this short film’s objective: appear simple and funny, distracting even, all the while questioning the way we live.
In the second part of the screenplay, the characters question each other on their perspective of mass media and the broadcasting of the bad and rarely the good. For instance, why don’t we give names to the times we’ve made love instead of naming hurricanes? I had never thought about that.
All in all, I enjoyed discovering a piece of work that is so different to what I am used to reading. I find myself very curious to discover how the screenplay will translate on screen and I am hoping the actors will reflect the witty quirkiness I found them to have on paper. Though I might not be able to discover it on screen, the short film does premier today, November 7th at the French consulate building, suite 120. 10390 Santa Monica Boulevard, CA 900025. For those of you who are in town for it, I hope you give it a try and enjoy it!
What I can note for sure is that the project involves a diverse cast who uncannily, but truthfully attempts to share their interpretations of the world around us. It made me smile and question my surroundings all at once.
A little about the author:
Jean-Baptiste Moke, popularly known as ‘JB KAN’, is a musician, activist and filmmaker. He kick-started his journey in entertainment at the age of 7, when he learned to flawlessly play several instruments including congas, guitar, piano, drums and the bass guitar. By 15, he performed as a keyboardist and a background vocalist with live bands in bars and restaurants in Europe and Africa, in order to afford his rent as a student. He studied Congos in South Africa, France and now in Los Angeles. JB holds a Master's Degree in French linguistics from Grenoble/France. He is now completing his second Master's Program in Writing and Directing for Film and Television."