Patois has an original approach in its narrative storytelling. Though the story is shown through the perspective of our protagonist, the actual narrative of the story is told subtextually, almost comparable to a visual representation of Hemingway’s iceberg theory. The camera’s focus stays focused on our protagonist Khenya throughout the film, however the real bulk of the story comes from the different elements happening around her. This approach was chosen because it was very reminiscent of the childhood experience; often times monumental milestones and life events occur around us, that as a child we aren’t as cognizant of and it’s not until we look back as adults that we realize the tremendous impact that it had on us whether we were aware of it or not.
This cinematic approach also mirrors themes present throughout the film, specifically the idea of maturity. As an immigrant, Khenya has to assume responsibilities that are usually expected of much older American counterparts; to Khenya the rejection of these responsibilities represents her desire to be American, but in reality she is rejecting maturity itself, struggling with the complexities of not quite knowing what it means to grow up and become a woman.