Guava Island

Update: Running time and plot details have been added to the end of this piece.

Last summer, rumors spread that actor/musicians Donald Glover (Community, Solo: A Star Wars Story) and Rihanna (Ocean’s Eight, Battleship) were secretly shooting a movie in Cuba. Now we have our first official look at that film, which is called Guava Island and – surprise! – debuts this weekend on Amazon Prime Video. Watch the first teaser and find out more below.

Guava Island Teaser

The movie also stars Black Panther breakout Letitia Wright and Nonso Anozie, who played Xaro Xhoan Daxos in Game of Thrones season 2. The first footage for this film leaked back in November at the Pharos Festival, but it’s never been online in an official capacity until now.

Hiro Murai, the up-and-coming director of shows like Atlanta and Barry and the guy who made the “This is America” music video for Glover’s musician alter-ego Childish Gambino, is behind the camera on this film, which he calls a “crazy fever dream of a production.” Stephen Glover, Donald’s brother and frequent collaborator, wrote the script, and the film is based on a story by Royalty, a collective of artists that has helped shape and drive Glover’s career for the past several years.

Amazon Studios won a bidding war for this film while it was still in post-production, and they’ll be debuting it today in a specially constructed theater at the Coachella Music Festival, where Childish Gambino is set to headline the fest tomorrow, and it will continue to screen there until the festival concludes.

But for those of us who aren’t trekking out to the California desert, Amazon is also releasing the film on Amazon Prime Video starting at 12:01am Pacific Time this Saturday morning, April 13, 2019. And if you’re bummed because you don’t subscribe to Amazon Prime, don’t fret – Guava Island will be free to watch, even for non-subscribers, for the first 18 hours of its release. That means that anybody with an internet connection can stream it until 6pm PT Saturday at this link. Interestingly, the press release also says the movie will be available to stream for free at Twitch.tv/primevideo at 5pm PT on Saturday…so does that mean this movie is only one hour long? If not, doesn’t it seem strange that the Twitch stream would continue after the free cut-off on Amazon Prime? Hmm.

But what is the film actually about? The short answer: we don’t know. As you can see in the footage, Glover gets kidnapped at one point and there’s a lot of lounging around and dancing against gorgeous backdrops, but in lieu of a traditional plot description, the press release simply refers to the movie as “an expansion of Glover’s idea of freedom. In creative and business terms.” IMDb refers to it as a comedy and a thriller, but that site doesn’t always have spot-on information during a film’s pre-release period.

UpdateVanity Fair confirms that the film is only one hour long, and they say it will also be streamed on Coachella’s YouTube page. The outlet describes the plot as “a tropical thriller” that’s inspired by films like City of God and Prince’s Purple Rain. Glover plays a musician living in Cuba who “is determined to throw a festival for his island community.” Our original article continues below.

“I’m really humbled having the opportunity to present something this timely and timeless. Between Rihanna and the people of Cuba, this is one of my favorite projects I’ve ever worked on,” Glover said. That’s a high bar considering some of the things he’s been involved with, and we’ll all be able to judge it for ourselves when it debuts just after midnight tomorrow.

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