Da Yie

Da Yie, meaning Good Night, is a short film following kids Matilda and Prince, as they spend a day going from the innocence of childhood to becoming aware of the dangers of the adult world lurking around them.

It begins with the kids at play. Smart, capable, confident Matilda is beating the boys at football. Prince is more fretful, he was supposed to be babysitting his younger sibling while his mum was out. However he can’t help but rise to Matilda’s playful taunts, and go along with her, when she makes every game seem like an adventure.

To try and avoid a hiding from his mother, Prince takes up an offer by Bogah, a foreigner who hangs about the neighbourhood, to take him and Matilda for a run in his motor. The car is swanky and expensive, Bogah takes them for a big meal at a restaurant, and helps Prince overcome his fear of the ocean as they play at the beach, along the beautiful Ghanaian coast.

There a sense of unease that settles in for the audience, watching as Prince’s wary nature is repeatedly bowled over by Matilda’s fearless belief that this is just another adventure. Despite everything you know as an adult, you hope Bogah is just a kindly adult giving the kids some respite.

As the day turns to night, and Prince repeatedly asks to go home, the kids realise they have unwittingly gotten into a dangerous situation. Their first real taste of the dangers that lurk outside the safety of their home streets brings them up stunned.

Da Yie is a really great short film for taking a simple story set over a day and showing how, by seemingly innocent and kindly steps, children can be led into danger. For the kids themselves, they give brilliant performances, showing how their natures can be double-edged, their confidence can make them either reckless or resourceful, their wariness can make them either indecisive or instinctual. Outstanding wee film.