Register Thursday | October 19 | 2017
Action is Coming, I Promise You Photographs by Alan Hofmanis.

Action is Coming, I Promise You

Cian Cruise on the Ugandan director making blockbusters for pennies.

MY BROTHER-IN-LAW AL thought he was ready for anything.

“You’ll get a kick out of this,” I say, scrolling through a YouTube video to find the right scene. “Here we go.”

Five shadowy figures swagger towards the camera in succulent slow motion. They’re wearing an assortment of flashy clothes and a few tote machine guns. A jocular Ugandan voice pipes through my laptop’s speakers, saying “Tiger Mafia,” with elongated vowels. Al chuckles. The gangsters start negotiating a drug deal.

Then we cut outside. A squad of men and women bedecked in camouflage sneak through an industrial ruin of cinder blocks and scrap tin. The narrator jumps in, saying, “Commandos. Deadly commandos,” with melodramatic pronunciation. Mafia members strut through the building. Commandos stalk them. Tension mounts.

Outside, another squad of soldiers sneaks up on a lone gangster. One flicks out a dagger, grabs the criminal from behind and ...

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