While watching Emotional Crack I noticed my sympathies constantly shifting from character to character. In particular, the change in villain from Chudi to Camilla was striking. In the first half of the movie I hated Chudi’s character, as he was illustrated as the abusive, over dominant, and adulterous husband. I was impressed by the film’s critique of his behavior and initially thought the movie was going to be supportive of women’s empowerment and liberties. My sympathies easily lied with Crystal as she was characterized as struggling against the odds to fight for her independence. As part one came to a close, however, I began to adore Camilla’s character. Her support of Crystal and her defiance and strength against Chudi was inspiring.

Even as a relationship began to bud between Camilla and Crystal I found myself liking Camilla. In the initial stages I preferred Camilla and Crystal’s relationship to Crystal and Chudi’s. Camilla was shown to support Crystals aspirations to be an accountant as well as to encourage Crystal’s self-confidence and strengths as a woman.  Knowing that homosexuality is a taboo subject in Nigeria, I was impressed and surprised that the film’s homosexual relationship was depicted as health and supportive while the film’s heterosexual relationship was depicted as abusive and dangerous. Little did I know what was to come…

I found the shift in villain from Chudi to Camilla to be sudden, shocking, and drastic. By the end of the film I thought Camilla was deranged. What strikes me most about this shift and the ultimate vilification of homosexuality in Emotional Crack is that it only takes place after Crystal decides to leave Camilla and end the relationship. The actual relationship is not only functional, but also beneficial (not to mention healthier than the abusive heterosexual relationship).  The relationship between Camilla and Crystal ends because of social and familial pressures, not seemingly because of a lack of love. I think the fact that the insanity follows the break-up instead of the formation of the lesbian relationship in the film seems to suggest, however discretely or in between the lines, that a lesbian relationship can be healthy. Perhaps I am focusing too much on the subtleties of the film and should acknowledge Camilla’s shift to being violent and obsessive is an overwhelming and blatant consequence of her immoral homosexual behavior in the film. I just believe that if this film wasn’t more than a commentary on the evils of homosexuality the relationship between Crystal and Camilla wouldn’t have been initially healthy and the “punishment” would have occurred before the relationship’s end.

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About juliannatwiggs

I'm a sophomore at AU majoring in IS-International Development and minoring in French.

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