Prince fans might doubt that anyone could recapture the theatrics, energy, and distinctively ’80s sexuality of Purple Rain, but director Christopher Kirkley decided to try anyway. Set in Niger, his Purple Rain remake had to get past a couple road blocks—like the fact that the people it follows, a nomadic group called the Tuareg, don’t even have a word for purple. So he ended up with a title that NPR reports translates to “Rain the Color of Blue With a Little Red in It.”
Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai, like Prince’s iconic film, follows a (now Tuareg) musician, as he fights for musical greatness. According to NPR, the struggles he faces along the way “are every bit as resonant in Niger’s desert community as they were in Prince’s Minneapolis.” But because some of the actors held conservative Muslim beliefs, some of the aforementioned ’80s sexiness had to be trimmed from the plot.
“We obviously couldn’t do a kiss on the screen,” Kirkley says. “We even had problems with a hug. I thought, ‘Well, maybe we can just end the film with the two of you hugging,’ and they said no.”
As the film makes the film-festival rounds (where it’s getting some great reviews), Kirkley told NPR he hasn’t heard from Prince yet, but “I’m hoping that if and when we do, it’s, uh, it’s a positive experience.”
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