I think this week’s readings and films was one of the most interesting topics we have covered all semester. Mostly because I think gender and sexuality issues are really interesting. After reading Professor Green-Simms’ article I was left with more questions than answers on the subject of homosexuality in Nigeria and Nollywood. I am curious to know:
Is the condemning of homosexuality in Nollywood films just an excuse to get homoerotic (G-rated homoeroticism but still) content distributed? I think it’s a step in the right direction that homosexuality is in the films at all, and hope it can progress to eventually lead to open discussion of gender and sexuality in Nigeria.
Why were the women who were in the Censors’ Bureau qualified to censor the films? Why were there no men there?
Why is critiquing political structures acceptable but not gender and cultural norms?
The article also made me think about Emotional Crack a little more in depth. I can’t decide which is worse; that Chudi beat Crystal, or that Chudi cheated on Crystal, or that Crystal cheated on Chudi with the same woman. I can’t decide if the message of the movie was that a wife should be ridiculously dutiful even if her husband is beating her, or if it is that homosexuality is wrong. Mostly, I think that Crystal was just crazy and needed to go see a psychologist.
Emotional Crack only got away with its themes of homosexuality because it condemned them in the end. The movie was kind of disappointing because it ended by saying lesbians are evil and that heteronormative marriage is the right and moral thing to do even if your husband beats you and you cheat on each other. In the end, the marriage is saved because Chudi decides to take Crystal back and saves her from Camilla. I think feel like I am expected to be glad about this, but I am not. Crystal is such a weak character, I wanted her to stand up for herself but she never did. I thought it was great that Chudi kicked her out because then at least she could be safe and make a life for herself, but she turned into a sniveling baby afterwards instead of a grown, independent woman. The main message I got out of Emotional Crack is that women and men need to be in heterosexual marriages in order to be happy. This is a message I whole-heartedly do not agree with and I wonder about the variety of viewpoints Nigerians have about the messages they receive from Nollywood films.