Happy Independence Day! To commemorate the holiday (and have something to watch on the gloriously placed public holiday tomorrow), here are 5 films to enjoy on your lazy day at home.
93 Days celebrates the sacrifices of the late Dr Ameyo Adadevoh and all who risked their lives to make sure the Ebola virus was contained in Nigeria.
On 20 July, 2014, Patient Zero, Patrick Sawyer, arrived in Lagos. He became severely ill upon arrival and died five days later of the Ebola disease. Almost 93 days later, on 20 October 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared Nigeria to be Ebola-free. Ebola was controlled as a result of the quick thinking, resilience and selflessness of the late Dr Ameyo Adadevoh and other medical personnel. Ameyo is credited for curbing a wider spread of the Ebola virus in Nigeria by placing Patrick Sawyer in quarantine despite pressures from some quarters to have him released.
Dr Ameyo Adadevoh died on 19 August 2014, a few weeks after testing positive for the Ebola virus disease.
Apart from recording a significant period in Nigeria, 93 Days highlights the sacrifices of frontline workers during one of the worst virus outbreaks the continent has ever seen.
Produced and directed by Nollywood premier movie director Kunle Afolayan, this psychological thriller is a must-see for every Nigerian.
Set in colonial Nigeria, October 1 tells the story of Officer Waziri, who is played by the late Sadiq Daba. The British colonial military has sent Officer Waziri on an investigative mission to the rural town of Akote in western Nigeria. Charged with investigating the frequent murder of women in the community before 1 October, Waziri has his work cut out for him. From the visual brilliance to the locations, the costumes, and the entire score, every part of this movie delivers on the 60s nostalgia you didn’t know you needed.
The film touches on important themes like tribalism, paedophilia and western imperialism in Nigeria. The stunning performance by the cast will leave this movie engraved in your memory.
76 is a meticulously detailed Nigerian historical fiction drama set six years after the end of the civil war. It follows the story of Captain Joseph Dewa, a young soldier accused of complicity in the failed coup of 1976, and his pregnant wife, Suzy, who helps him prove his innocence.
With 76, director Izu Ojukwu transports viewers back to when General Murtala Muhammed was killed on 13 February, 1976, in an abortive coup attempt led by Lt. Col Buka Suka Dimka.
While 76 is not entirely a movie about the 1976 coup, the events of the year pilot the circumstances that lay the ground for the movie.
Half of A Yellow Sun
The film adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s groundbreaking novel of the same title is a classic tale of the costs of Nigeria’s independence. Half of a Yellow Sun tells the tale of two privileged sisters who go on completely different journeys as they navigate their way through the Nigerian Civil War. Although the story’s ending may be a bit of a downer, it is still so beautifully done by the author and the movie’s filmmaker.
Touching on themes like war and romance, the sweeping story of Half of a Yellow Sun will leave you aching for justice. Fans of the book found the movie adaptation a little too rushed and disconnected, but it’s a beautiful piece all the same. What better movie to celebrate Nigeria’s independence than one with a reminder of her dark past.
The Herbert Macaulay Affair
The Herbert Macaulay Affair, by Imoh Umoren, is a film based on the life and struggles of Nigerian nationalist and independence agitator, Herbert Macaulay, whose grandson is in the film.
The movie is set in the 1920s, around the time of the bubonic plague in Lagos. The film follows lead actor, William Benson, who plays the role of Herbert Macaulay and his actions leading to the incitement of fellow Nigerians to stand up against their oppressors and his leadership of protests agitating for independence from Britain.
The movie also stars Kelechi Udegbe, Martha Ehinome Orhiere, Tubosun Ayedun, Sunday Afolabi, Mary Kowo, Phillip Jarman, Stanley Matthews, Obiora Maduegbuna, and Lolo Eremi.
Boluwatife Adesina is a media writer and the helmer of the Downtown Review page. He’s probably in a cinema near you.