It’s quite the achievement to create a movie that feels as fluid as a dance. Writer/director Ewa Msangi achieves just that with Farewell Amor, a film that tackles the challenge of articulating reintroduction, second chances, and the risks and rewards of chosen intimacy for a family reuniting after 17 years. It is a rich character study shown in three acts, examining the perspectives of three supposed loved-ones, now near or complete strangers, wanting desperately to find a way back to each other. In her feature directorial debut with Farewell Amor, Msangi reveals herself to be a filmmaker with a deft and nuanced hand, and one to watch.

Angolan woman Esther (Zainab Jah) and her daughter Sylvia (Jayme Lawson) have come to the US after being separated from husband and father Walter (Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine) for nearly all of Sylvia’s life. Each carry scars, whether from the Angolan Civil War, or the repercussions of having to live beyond that war without the safety net and the comfort of family. For each of the three characters, the story starts when they meet each other at Kennedy Airport. In that way, Msangi doesn’t dwell on their pasts, as much as what impact those experiences have on the present day.

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