Tuesday, September 18, 2007


I went to see a free movie (yeah, sue me) out of Indonesia. Berbagi Suami (Love for Share) was an interesting presentation of three stories revolving around polygamy in Indonesia. Three women, Salma, Siti and Ming were profiled in three interconnecting stories that portrayed in what I must call a humane side of polygamy. Gone were the exaggerated theatrics employed in Nigerian films to tackle the issue that they in the end fail to either indicate is bad or good.

I loved the movie. Loved the stories, the characters, the footage, the soundtrack and did not mind that the movie seemed lengthier than 120 minutes. The best part was the question and answer session where the director who had been brought in by the association of southeast Asian countries in celebration of thirty years of good relationship with the United States.

Back to the movie. While it was not my first south east Asian flick (those who know me must know that I am a die hard Bollywood addict and I have dabbled in a Thai hit here and there) it was my first out of Indonesia and I must confess I imagined I was going to have to sit through a production much similar to the likes of which spewed out by our spare-parts-dealers-turned-film-producers. I was so surprised at the quality of the movie. The sound was amazing and the camera angles were well used.

I was so intrigued about this award winning film that I had to go google it. How is it that a country whose economy mirrors ours and has a movie industry even younger and less experienced than ours in Nigeria, produce flicks that have depth and direction. I think it is because their industry is run by trained storytellers. The director informed us that she researched her script for over a year before even thinking of casting. And that was all born out the curiosity created when she was introduced to her driver's second wife. I have heard alot of jokes about Nigerian directors and script writers who decide the next project's concept over the pounded yam lunch in between takes. I have no issue with that...if at least six months is devoted to digging in depth into the concept, researching and documenting the finds. They might find better insights and make films that we Nigerians abroad will feel unashamed and skeptical about inviting our friends to see with us. You don't know how many times my friends have come asking for dvds to watch, seen my film collections and I have to lie about lack of subtitles (which usually is true for Yoruba films) or that the disk is scratched (very plausible even of it is supposed to be new) or it is not working (again another possibility).....come to think of it, I don't even have to lie.

For the directors out there using film as their medium of communication, please take some time to put together your projects. The same way you will not leave your house half dressed don't send your projects out into the world have made. Research your stories. Leave your opinions out of it (I am tired of the self gratifying movies made my ignorant and chauvinistic men that paint outspoken and forward thinking women as immoral or religious fanatics that tout their faith...not everyone is of a majority faith and it is extremely annoying) and get those who know how to do it t work with you. It takes time but wouldn't you rather have a lasting quality product?

I would.


confused child said...

i'm 1st. oya let me go n read.

Anonymous said...

thats just the thing though,
they dont care about lasting quality, jus lasting money!

laspapi said...

I know what you mean, catwalq. Someday, we'll find the funding to do these things here.

princesa said...

Its not necessary the funding...i think they lack the manpower. I lliterates practically write the scripts so what do u expect??

We still have some good ones though. November productions, Kingsley Ogoro do good naija home movies.

diary of a G said...

i'll holla

Teediva said...

lol @ spare parts dealers turned film producers. quite apt.

laspapi said...

@ princesa- if we find funding, we'll be able to attract good script writers. Sometimes they can't be bothered here because the remuneration is so poor so the dross continues

princesa said...

@laspapi, yea perhaps you have a point there.
Some corporate bodies are investing now...Ecobank did this project Nollywood thing with 3 good directors(Fred Amata, Charles Novia and Fidelis Duker) The movies are quite good too.

100%Lighty said...

well love, asper nigerian directors, how can they ever research when they release movies every week. it'll be a waste of time trying to talk it through with them. naija people sef, always wanting quick answers to money making, datz our problem.

i am crazy for bollywood as well. u need to read the book SHAME, it has to do it arrange marriage (i think). i plan to but it 2moro. wuld be back with more info on the book, sure u're enjoy reading as much as i will.

would be back.

catwalq said...

@Confused: good for u

@geisha: It is sad but that is what our society promotes: instant gratification at the expense of your dignity and intellect

@Laspapi: I hope so. And I hope to get a chance to work with u

@princessa: I have seen some good films. Saw Widows Cot. Was not bad and also the movie Widow. was short and sweet. some scenes were too obvious but compared to the competition, those films were very good.

@Diary of a G: ok. I am waiting

@Teediva: I lie?

@Laspapi: I can't say it better

@Princessa2: what were the titles?

@100%Lightly: I went on amazon to try and get it but it is not yet available in the states.

Lighty said...

it'll be no problem getting it 4 u. just let mi know if u want me 2. hola!