After months of secrecy, Donald Glovers mystery film Guava Island is available to stream online. The film was picked up by Amazon and can be watched in front of its paywall for the next day.
Guava Island, which clocks in at just under an hour, opens with a colorful animation sequence and stars Glover as Deni, a struggling, but hopeful musician who wants to throw a music festival for the people of Guava. Rihanna plays silk factory worker Kofi, Denis longtime girlfriend. The film also includes strong performances from Letitia Wright, playing Kofis best friend, and Nonso Anozie, playing the villainous Red Cargo.
Guava Island, as many suspected, is a vehicle for Childish Gambino music, but it also offers stirring reworked versions of previously released songs like “This Is America” and “Summertime Magic.” We see the former when Deni goes to work at the cargo, then mocks a coworker who dreams of going to America and becoming rich.
“America is a concept,” Deni declares. “Anywhere where in order to get rich you have to make someone richer is America.”
He launches into an acoustic rendition of the song, but as it goes on, the original song takes over, with Deni dancing alongside factory workers, mimicking the original “This Is America” music video. “Summertime” comes into play when Deni sings for Kofi during a bucolic picnic. Despite previous rumors, Rihanna does not sing in the film.
Speaking of the California music festival: thats where Glover first premiered Guava Island. On Thursday night, a day before his headlining set, the film was screened for about 100 guests in a metal theater, according to the Hollywood Reporter. During his set on Friday, Glover paid tribute to the late Nipsey Hussle and Mac Miller, performing numbers with a full choir.
“All we really have are memories at the end of the day,” he mused onstage, according to Billboard. “The problem with millennials is that we have too much . . . were too afraid to plant a tree we know were not going to eat from. Some of yall wont make it to next week. While were here, feel something and pass it on.”
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