I have been thinking of the words to describe this film, if not Film Of The Year. Everything Everywhere All At Once is a breathtaking spectacle, an exemplary display of independent filmmaking, and an adventure that traverses through genres. It is a film about a Chinese-American family, a drama that latches onto the intricacies of their relationship. It is undoubtedly comedic, finely sliced apart from the existential and philosophical prose of the film. Combined with spells of action and a foundation of sci-fi, this film is nothing short of a masterpiece. The western film industry in recent years has been more receptive to centring Asian characters and stories in films.

Due to the sore lack of representation it is groundbreaking when it comes to roles, or producing anything that gains an insight to many Asian diaspora realities, and for those that need it presenting a way to express difficult conversations. Film is such an immense device to learn from, and Everything Everywhere All At Once is a great teacher.

Written and directed by the famed filmmaking duo the Daniel’s (Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert) Everything Everywhere All At Once follows Evelyn Quan Wang (Michelle Yeoh) in her day in the life of being a discontented laundromat owner. Dissected into three parts, the first being Everything, the film goes on to absorb everything that builds the stage where Everlyn is overwhelmed. She is troubled by the imposition of a visiting strict and traditional Father (James Hong), simply referred to as Gong Gong (Cantonese for Grandfather/Father in Law), while juggling a contentious relationship with her lesbian daughter Joy (Stephanie Hsu). Joy yearns for her Mother’s approval, or rather attention, to address the elephant in the room often to no avail. Everlyn’s focus is delegated to the pressures of mundane work, taxes, a Father she must care for, and a barren lovelife with a frustrating happy go lucky husband in Waymond (Ke Huy Quan). In the midst of this burgeoning madness, Evelyn is approached by Alpha Waymond, a version of her husband from another Universe, the Alphaverse, where they created technology that allows them to temporarily access the minds of their alternative selves in another. He alerts her of an impending danger, Jobu Tupaki – the most dangerous multiversal being hellbent on destroying reality. When combined with the real lives of our Evelyn, Waymond, Joy and Gong Gong – we are presented with a wonderful, extravagant, investigation into the variation of possibilities evident in this multiverse.

The film begins with a beautiful shot of the Wang’s, bouncing with joy, pictured in a round mirror that sits between a gathering of miscellaneous household objects on a high shelf. We all have those corners in the home, very diasporic. The TV light tinting their faces and dimming the tone of home, it all falls deaf in what I assumed to be the next morning as the pressure of work and life unfolds. The detail of these opening scenes is atomic, rich in colour and lighting. It sets the tone for how the film intends to proceed. I love how it emboldens those little objects and the moment of collective joy in the mirror. It builds the reality of these characters starting with the most important note; happiness. The next day unravels that joy, framed as if plucked from the best times, showing Evelyn struggle with the running of the laundromat. Customers’ clothes have gone missing, the wrong paint is used to do the walls, a machine is faulty, and her family are bothersome. This next scene masterfully entalges a trinity of issues that trouble Evelyn: her tormented relationship with her Father, entertained by a cultural demand. A relationship with her daughter divided by generational and such cultural differences, an all too familiar tale for diaspora children. Lastly, a seemingly loveless marriage predicated on a lowly laundromat and a lack of having at their dreams. These themes join hands, and gradually expand into a cluster of issues. Evelyn battles with the idea of what if, the alternative choices and countless realities in which life didn’t turn out the way it did. In the same breath, Joy’s disconnect is not merely one of a troubled relationship with family – but one with life itself.

In all, the characters seem to be mystified by the potency of what if. Gong Gong never shies away from being blunt about his daughter he critiques at every moment. Everlyn spacing out for moments, wondering about a different life where she feels fulfilled. Joy gazing into the depths of nothingness, the moody darkness of dark clothes in the dryer capturing the abyss. Waymond, a people pleaser, infected by the disappointment Everlyn presence sheds. The main plot could be seen as Evelyn’s relationship with Joy, which like with many diasporic parental relationships can be overshadowed by a hierarchy of importance, as both are led through a journey that makes them question their foundations and the nature of their relationships. But I feel the plot encompasses everything, considerate of all the main characters’ feelings and the meaning behind them. The nihilistic nature of Everything Everywhere All At Once transforms everyday issues through the vastness of the multiverse in such a splendid manner – it is near perfect. My heart warmed, I laughed, my eyes watered, I gasped, winced, and at parts would sink at the relatability of the film.

The acting is tremendous, a perfectly pieced together cast. A spread of legendary actors and unsung talent forged together to fulfil this film. Everylyn and Michelle Yeoh were a match made in Heaven. Her grand career includes starring in films like Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (2001) and recently the game-changing Crazy Rich Asians (2018). Despite her legacy, a film career spanning almost 4 decades, in an interview with GQ Michelle stated this was the role she was waiting for. In it, she cries out of sheer appreciation of the film and role. It encompasses a range that allowed her to embrace her acting skills in full. It demands emotional investment, a display of comedic spiel, of course her brilliance with martial arts, but also a vulnerability by the fact she is simply a Mother in this universe. Michelle also hailed the importance of the story, the representation through a story that can allow the actors to encompass it all. Coincidentally, representation is also the reason for the return of Ke Huy Quan to acting.

The actor in his early years featured in a few iconic films, including Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom (1984) and The Goonies (1985). In an interview with Jimmy Fallon, Ke brought to attention how tough the industry was to find roles as an Asian man as the industry rarely had suitable roles. After a while, calls for the actor stopped calling. Enough so that Ke called it quits, hanging up his acting boots until he was reinvigorated by watching Crazy Rich Asians. It was such an inviting and touching film that it rekindled Ke’s passion to act. He called up a friend who’s an agent and Everything Everywhere All At Once came to his attention. Originally, the Daniels did want Jackie Chan to fulfil this role – but opted for Ke, as he added another dimension to Waymond as a character. He is such a lovely human being, one that by his behaviour and approach made me want to become a better person. Ke is an outstanding actor, very much instrumental to the film being incredible. It is so baffling that he hasn’t had the opportunity to display such a wonderful skill. Jamie Lee Curtis, who plays Deidre the hard-faced auditor who is auditing their taxes, commended him on his magnificence and the pleasure in seeing Ke perform acknowledging a gift that deserves to be paraded. Jamie herself is also another legendary actor. She is almost unrecognisable, and dons the aura of bully surfing on the powers of law. James Hong, the last legendary actor I’ll mention. He is fascinating, believable, and also expresses an understanding of why this character is so important. I won’t pretend to have seen a spread of his work, but writing this to discover he was the voice behind one of the most iconic villains in cartoon history, Daolon Wong in Jackie Chan Adventures, was so cool. Awkwafina was touted to play Joy, but an engrossing audition from Stephanie Hsu thankfully changed their minds. She was ethereal, absolutely owned her role. Alongside a star-studded cast, she shines brightly as they do. Also, her style? She will become a fashion icon through this role alone.

I don’t want to spoil this film, I believe everyone should stop whatever they’re doing and book it right now. Although, I do want to add context to how great it is. The multiverse is a concept investigated through recent comic book films and TV. Mostly, of course, in the MCU and DC. There is a lot to fantasise about when considering the enormity of their archives. Decades if not a century of content to dissect, elect and shoot with cash injections from some of the biggest media conglomerates in the world. A demand in knowing whatever is made will be received by generations of fans, and more, tied to their franchises. The Daniels started researching the concept of the multiverse in 2010, after being exposed to modal realism in the film Sherman’s March. Unfortunately, Spiderman Into The Spider Verse, other MCU films and shows, plus Rick & Morty had already explored the idea by the time it was ready.

Although they are wonderful films and TV shows, a debatable truer and or more relatable sense of cinema is questionable. I say that because it is incredibly hard to create a film like Everything Everywhere All At Once independently, with the resources the filmmakers used, and the potency of the film’s reception. For example, the video VFX was put together by 5 people. Just 5! That is insane for the sheer brilliance of the VFX throughout the film, from start to finish. The transitions and panning of the camera in many shots are magical. The ingenuity is strong, hilarious, and so captivating. The filming reminded me of a compilation of the best short films I have ever seen. So much attention to detail, and every resource exhausted to uplift it, this is the type of film you need to rewatch many times to appreciate the extent of it all. The scene of Evelyn being whisked into another Universe is actually a shot of Michelle Yeoh acting in slow motion, rolled backwards on a chair with a green screen video and edits composed through days of recording and walking the streets of New York by Daniel Kwan. The shifting of the frame to entertain wider action scenes was so well done. The seamless universal blending had my eyes fixed on the multitude of things occurring all at once. It was an adventure in filmmaking, and the best multiversal film I have seen. I expect this to win the best awards this year, and motivate more independent filmmakers to create from a vantage point of representation intensified by the factors of genre.

Go and support this film, watch it in cinema, take it in its entirety. It deserves it, and will not disappoint.


OWN IT! and Boy Better Know to publish Paperback edition of ENDLESS FORTUNE and partner with Audible for Audiobook

We are super excited to announce we’ll be releasing Ify Adenuga’s critically acclaimed autobiography Endless Fortune in PAPERBACK on 29th July + have done a deal with Audible for the AUDIOBOOK. Get your pre-orders direct from us for a personalised signed copy.

How do you go from being a penniless student in a foreign country to becoming the mother of “a family who could lay a claim to the title of the most creative clan in Britain?” – The Guardian

Part historical, part political but most of all hugely inspirational, Endless Fortune tells the life story of Ify Adenuga: A fighter, a thinker, a feminist and a parent. Born in Lagos, Ify’s life was uprooted by the Nigerian civil war, which ravaged the country in the mid-1960s, forcing her family to flee. In 1980, she headed to London in search of a better life where, a year later, she met her husband Joseph Senior at their workplace – a bingo hall in east London.

In the tough working-class area of Tottenham, the couple raised their four children and encouraged them to explore their artistic instincts, narrowly avoiding a violent situation that threatened to tear the family apart…

Endless Fortune is the first book of its kind from the mother of successful British creatives to examine the experience of the African diaspora and the complications around immigration from a personal perspective. Ify explores the chasm between Lagos and London and how to not just survive but thrive in a new culture and country.

“Raising one successful creative might be down to chance – to do so four times takes brilliance.” – British Vogue

“A memoir that takes in the ascent of grime, overcoming adversity…and witnessing her offspring reshape culture in their own image” NME

“This holds a wealth of inspiration, learning and joy. A must read.” – Candice Carty-Williams

“This is a touching, memorable story with a righteous voice at the heart of it” – The Big Issue

The formidably impressive Ifeomagwu “Ify” Adenuga is married to Joseph Senior Adenuga and mother of Joseph Junior (Skepta), Jamie (JME), Julie and Jason Adenuga. Ify went on to receive a BA (Hons) in Education & Film studies and continues to work with organisations across the UK and Nigeria to help young people lead independent lives in safe communities. In 2016, she received recognition as an ICON at C. Hub magazine’s prestigious Creativity and Arts Awards, which recognises excellence in creativity, leadership and entrepreneurship.

Bookshops are back!

Finally, it is once again safe to wander around our favourite local bookshops, browsing and finding unexpected tittles, turning over a real book in our hands and marching it up to the tills. Although some things might be a little different, such as exchanging smiles beneath masks and extra hand sanitiser, one thing that will remain the same is the sanity and tranquillity that comes when, as a reader, you can once again return to your natural habitat and pick up a book in a bricks and mortar bookshop.

With their reopening, it’s important for us all to support local bookshops and ensure their survival. These safe havens where us readers can lose ourselves in, are essential to our community.

Although it’s brilliant that we can jump on our phones and browse every book on earth and order it within seconds, there is just something completely different about the feeling of physically being inside a book store, running your finger across the spines of an array of books and deciding on one to take home. It’s not just about the transaction of a purchase, it’s the experience.

With the reopening of bookshops also returns the chance for people to talk to others, for human connection. It feels only right that bookshops reopening coincides with the sun shining fiercer and blue skies above. A sign maybe, that brighter, better days are on the way…ones that we can spend wandering around our favourite bookshops, once again.

Please always support indies. Here’s a list of some of OWN IT!’s favourite local indie bookshops:

New Beacon Books – newbeaconbooks.com

Libreria London – libreria.io

Pages of Hackney – pagesofhackney.com

The Broadway Bookshop – broadwaybookshop.com

Burley Fisher – burleyfisherbooks.com

Stoke Newington Bookshop – stokenewingtonbookshop.com

Newham Bookshop – newhambooks.co.uk


OWN IT! releases postcards to celebrate the One Year Publication anniversary of Stuart Goodman’s One Saturday In 82 On Broadway Market.

These black and white photos candidly picture the lives of shoppers and shop owners on this East London market in Hackney, which has since become unrecognisable. Preserving images of an East London landmark that has changed from desolation row to one of London’s trendiest markets.

One Saturday In 82 On Broadway Market also features Stuart Goodman’s account of his and Stephen Selby’s role in setting up a community initiative to save Broadway Market from demolition. Goodman speaks of the London that existed before gentrification. An East London native, brought up on a Hackney council estate, Goodman had lived in the market and been a shop keeper there for 6 months before photographing it for the first time.

In celebration of the one-year anniversary of publication, we are releasing three postcards of photographs from Stuart’s book.

With every purchase of his book One Saturday In 82 On Broadway Market, we’ll include a free postcard print.

If you’d like to purchase these prints, they are available at £1.50 each, or as a bundle of all 3 for £3.


Purchase postcards here:
(1 of 3)
(2 of 3)
(3 of 3)
Bundle of all 3

Visit Stuarts website to see more of his work here

Although we sadly lost the great Stuart Goodman, just over a year ago now (April 1st, 2020) his memory and his life live on through his work. Each of these photos capture a moment in time, a window into 1982 in Broadway Market and a window into the lives within it.


I have been unsure whether I wanted to review this film or not, as I felt the concepts that came into play are somewhat an injustice to the intentions and space the Black Panther Party attempted to create. However, after a few weeks of research, I came around to a satisfied state to speak on it. A strong disposition I have carried throughout my reviews so far is the importance of Black work in a multitude of mediums. Whether it is a film about a Black family unit and the lifelong affirmations so relatable, or the wonder of fantasy in a marvellous setting, a short film shedding an understanding of an unstudied space, or a historical show built to recognise a dramatic yet realistic state. In each of the Black works I review, there is a strong disposition of alleviating our struggles. I want to articulate and honour our community, as such ideas and realities became the making of me. Nevertheless, Judas & The Black Messiah is a film that unsettled that disposition of necessity by creation within me. It hurt my heart to watch, dampening my hope and soaked my misery in doubt, that by the end of it, left me morally debunked and slumped in depressive thought.

The first thing brought to my attention was questioning whether the film should exist or not. Although the enticing cast paused any form of protest that rocked within me. I thought, with the likes of Daniel Kaluuya, Lakeith Stanfield, the film being produced by Ryan Coogler, directed and written by a highly respected Shaka King, this is something I should see. I will never miss something Daniel Kaluuya is in, right now he is my favourite actor. Plus, I jump at any chance to learn more about the Black Panther Party. This was my enticement to the film. Judas & The Black Messiah is about the immoral endeavours of William O’Neal, an FBI informant, played by a dismayed Lakeith Stanfield, positioned in a Chicago branch of the Black Panther Party led by a young and aspiring Chairman Fred Hampton, played by the illustrious Daniel Kaluuya, who won a Golden Globe for the best supporting actor in a film with this performance. Daniel’s invested performance shines bright. He visited Hampton’s early homes, schools, speaking venues, and even discussed with students and former Panthers about the man’s life and legacy. Meeting Fred Hampton Jr and his mother Akua Njeri (Deborah Johnson) who is played by Dominique Fishback, added to his conception of Fred Hampton as a being. Jesse Plemons plays Roy Mitchell, the real FBI agent that facilitates the whole ordeal under the tutelage of J Edgar Hoover – the infamous FBI director that looms in that dark with sharp but lifechanging statements of action.

The film itself is a suspenseful and triggering piece, highlighting aspects of the great communal service and pride carried throughout the Black Panther Party. It shone a brief light on their political notions, the discipline carried out, the training and collective endeavours of people, as well as the networking Fred Hampton orchestrated between other disillusioned political groups that existed at the time. The score of the film is dark, looming, adding to the unease and enthusing aspect of the reality of the situation. Composed by Mark Isham and Craig Harris, the Jazz influence captures the sound of the times while adding to the entire aura of the films concept. It was such musical strings being pulled that lulled me into a rage at the situations at hand. It is mechanical, calculative, imposing, and exposing of a concerned heart. This was masterfully done. Although, alongside my building bitterness, it was in these moments of the films dialogue, intentions, situations and score blending together that prompted me to question its existence. Despite the tremendous job in summoning the emotions, inspiring a range of thoughts, its being unsettles me knowing there’s no happy ending in this story. The immorality of the situation bellows as if jabbing at history itself, that won’t change but can produce such historical thrillers such as these.

William O’Neal story as the Judas evokes no empathy within my heart despite the humanisation of the character. He is the centrepiece of the film, that studies his controlled relationship with the FBI and the tactics they utilised to undermine the party. It could be argued that due to the insidious nature of the FBI’s COINTELPRO, its Counterintelligence Programme that carried out covert and majorly illegal operations of surveillance, infiltration, discrediting, and generally destroying domestic American political organisations, that it was not entirely to the fault of the manipulated informants. Nevertheless, empathy can only go so far. Regardless of the realities Black people faced, William O’Neal allowed himself to be a pawn for the downfall of a Black community. The Civil Rights Movement, as well as Black Power Movements, were prime targets during the 60s and 70s of these endeavours. William O’Neal was, one of countless people who were subjects utilised in these tactics. Though that doesn’t erase the fact he was a snitch looking out for his own self. Speaking to film reviewers at the African American Film Critics Association, Lakeith Stanfield voice cracks a bit as he thanked a critic for asking him about how he felt during this whole film process – something almost totally ignored throughout the whole ordeal.

This image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Lakeith Stanfield, left, and Jesse Plemons in a scene from “Judas and the Black Messiah.” (Warner Bros. Pictures via AP)

Lakeith highlighted the role ignited a depression within him, he suffered from panic attacks on set, sleepless nights, sheer confusion at becoming this character and questioned whether it was the right decision at all. He had to go to therapy in order to alleviate the stress accumulated in playing William O’Neal. When he first received the script, he was enthused at the idea of playing Fred Hampton – only to be informed it was William O’Neal he would perform. This was going to be a challenge, but as an actor it wasn’t an opportunity to shy way from. Joining him in this interview, Fred Hampton Jr and Daniel Kaluuya offered their insights to the reality behind the film – making a fantastic roundtable discussion of it. Jr went on to highlight, it was important such a film was created in order to show the reality behind FBI & Governance involvement in subjugating their efforts. People needed to heed the inhumane tactics of psychological warfare, manipulation and general undoing of them. Jr also added that these modern-day tactics and technologies have existed for so long, such as wiretapping, listening to conversations via phone, speakers that can allow you to hear conversations from within a building if just pointed at it, facial manipulation to change identities among other practices to ensure the destruction of such movements. He even noted the fact that when William O’Neal passed, he and his Mother, Deborah Johnson, renamed Akua Njeri, attended his funeral to pay their disrespects and ensure he was dead and buried. However, at the open casket – they came to realise that the body and face was not of the William O’Neal they remembered – adding to the mystery of the FBI and their practices.

I felt comforted at the idea that Fred Hampton Jr and his mother essentially gave their blessings to the creation of this film, and less fiery at its existence. However, another glaring issue I recognised was raised by Noname, a Chicago native rapper that has a passion for hands on community work. She is not merely an activist, but someone who is vocal in teaching and helping others learn a discourse to understanding politics and community. She denied the opportunity in being a part of a soundtrack, stating after she witnessed the film she decided to pull out of it. Which for many implied her politics doesn’t align with the creation or content of the film itself. Like with the fantastic film score, the film itself, the soundtrack also alienated me by being a product of the same system the Panthers fought against. The film and its ideas became a culture product to produce worth over political action. Recently, Noname raised a headquarters for her reading club that intends to provide political education classes, book & food drives, host a radically filled library, provide free art shows and film screenings. A wholesome and free space that doesn’t intend to wait for the same Government that orchestrated the downfall of such in the 60s and 70s to act. It is such political inclinations that the film lacked. Although some intentions were pointed toward, such as the equality of opportunity and respect by gender, the community watch and monitoring of policing, the cooperation between the Panthers and other political movements. Despite such, as a film – the political incantations can only be injected so far. If there was a film intending to flesh out the philosophy and political endeavours of the Black Panther Party, a film focused on the snitch wouldn’t be it. I do hold hope that, likewise with myself, such communal interests no matter how little detailed can inspire people to act within their own. We can share, educate, and work to each other’s benefit without needing a Government known for disenfranchising life itself.


To conclude, I would say Judas & The Black Messiah is a must-see film if you adore passionate performances of brightening dark moments within history. Although the reality behind its existence offers a shallow feeling. Hence, I’d also say, if you are not a fan of trauma and carry a heavy heart you do not need to rush to see it. The spectacle has seemingly been enlightening for the cast, studying crew, and filmmakers themselves. I hope such can shed onto others, like it has with myself, and the endeavours of the Black Panthers strike a chord within them to embark on something similar. It is a shame that Blackness embodies politics in most cultural products and serves as something we can utilise in a learning space. But I guess, this has become a tragic reality of Blackness in white societies.