Guava Island is the new movie starring Childish Gambino and Rihanna, premiered last night during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.
The movie, described as a “tropical thriller”, was directed by the faithful friend of Glover, Hiro Murai, and written by the Glover’s brother Stephen, and it stars also Black Panther‘s actress Letitia Wright.
Rihanna’s character Kofi, is the Deni‘s factory worker girlfriend, played by Gambino, and she opens the 54-minute film with a voiceover, narrating how she fell for Deni, a singer. They begin dating, and Deni becomes a local celebrity. When he plans to throw a festival, he is stopped by political complications and his boss begin to threatened him. The action comes to a head and Glover must decide whether to save himself or fight for his island.
The movie is inspired by classic movies of the African diaspora, as Touki Bouki, City of God, and Black Orpheus. The film’s island setting and the looks of the characters goes beyond what you might expect from breezy Caribbean style, while the location is fictional because the film was shot in Cuba last summer.
The Guava Island executive producer, and Glover’s frequent collaborator, Ibra Ake explains that the wardrobe and costuming comes from the African diaspora, to create a totally new world.
The striped dress that Rihanna wears in the trailer is a design from a Cuban woman, Ibra Ake said:
“The costume designers were instructed to use found objects. One costume was made from condoms. There had to be a dollar limit on each because we wanted it not to be about the fanciest and most intricate costume like most movies would. It was more about how you can make do with what’s in your home if you had to leave your house and celebrate. It was about being creative with what you had.”
The Donald Glover’s movie will continue to screen across all three stages at the festival.
Childish Gambino will play on Coachella’s YouTube live stream at 5:00 p.m. Pacific/8:00 p.m. Eastern, and like he says “after my performance, watch Guava Island”.