Director Aadil Dhalech creates an Afro-Japanese fantasy short film for three tracks off Th&o.’s debut album, Ebusuku

Patriot Films’ Aadil Dhalech has crafted a head-spinning hypnotic short film soundtracked by three different tracks (“Body Like a Gun”, “Prosecco” and “Ghosting”) from Joburg-based Afrotronic singer-songwriter, Th&o. (pronounced Thando).

Conceptualised and written by Aadil, “Ebusuku” is a trippy film that’s part music video, part sake-infused fever dream. Perfectly paired with Th&o.’s seductive electronic beats, Aadil created a parallel universe that fuses African and Japanese styles with elements of film noir.

“Ebusuku” (a Zulu word, which translates to: at night) takes the viewer on a bold visual journey that follows an Afro-Ronin, a sort of freelance African samurai warrior, on the run. His journey is interrupted by a sake bar inexplicably situated in the middle of nowhere. It is here that the film takes a bizarre turn as he gets trapped in a temporal loop where he encounters a mysterious temptress.

While Aadil is equally at home creating characters that will stay with you long after you first meet them on screen, “Ebusuku” showcases his strength at crafting strong, beautiful visuals.

One of the greatest challenges the team faced during production, apart from pulling it off with next to no money, was successfully creating the feeling of a none space, or isolation, in the film. This was nearly impossible as the shooting location was surrounded by lights from towns and farms nearby. “VFX and Finishing Artist, Blake Prinsloo, ended up painting every single light out. 63 shots I think, 3 hours each. Sorry Blake,” says Aadil.

Content like this is the reason I started TATC. We have so much artistic talent in our country and when music meets film in a marriage as sweet as this, it makes everything we do worth it.