Larkin’s article discusses the meaning behind Northern and Southern Nigerian films. He discussed how there is a focus on the “aesthetics of outrage” and that each film is meant to be a meta-commentary on Nigerian daily life. This struck me as a key difference between Nigerian and American film because, typically, American film focuses on a departure from normal life. While there are plenty of movies that do comment on social issues in America, our big blockbusters are action films or fantasy movies, etc. They revolve around the audience’s need to suspend disbelief. Nigerian film, on the other hand, wants for its audience to connect and have the happenings of the movie impact them. Even though the plot is a caricature of daily life, a Nigerian audience is still expected to have some form of emotional and potentially physical reaction.

A different factor regarding Northern Nigerian film is that it draws heavy influence from Indian film, even going so far as to copy the plots of Indian film. While this is also to show the similarities between the values held within each country, the influence of another country on a faction of Nigerian culture is more significant. The fact that Indian culture became so prevalent within Northern Nigerian films seems reminiscent of the time of colonization. While Indian culture and Northern Nigerian culture are much more similar than the ways of Nigerian and British culture, the heavy influence could be a sign that Nigeria is still in the early stages of forming a fully independent identity.

The fact that many of the Nollywood films revolve around the corruption of modern Nigeria also proves to be a way to create a better Nigerian identity. Smith’s article goes in depth into the 419 scams that run rampant. He describes the genres of the e-mails and the reasoning behind such wide participation in these scams. Smith discusses that the overall corruption of Nigeria subsequently fuels action in and ambivalence toward such schemes. While he is talking of the actual act, these 419 scams are heavily focused on in Nigerian film as well, an example being The Master. This film shows how ordinary citizens can be so easily dragged into a lifestyle of 419 scamming. In examining the flaws of their society, the films can aim to urge the viewers to work toward making a more solid, genuine identity for Nigeria.

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About lnds-y

I'm an alumna of American University, where I received my B.A. in Literature.

One response »

  1. lindseynewman says:

    I really don’t understand why weird text keeps showing up at the bottom of my posts…

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