Friday, 6 March 2009

Still on Slumdog Millionaire

A friend of mine just drew my attention to Reuben Abati's article here-http://www.ngrguardiannews.com/editorial_opinion/article02//indexn2_html?pdate=060309&ptitle=Slumdog%20Millionaire%20and%20Nollywood (sorry blogger wasnt accepting the link, had to copy and paste.)

I knew someone was going to make the comparison, I just didn't think it would be him. It is a well written piece as most of his articles are but what exactly do they mean by this:
'If the Indians can do it, Nigerians can do it too. If we want to rebrand Nigeria, that is what we should be doing. Slumdog Millionaire is a great branding opportunity for India.'

How exactly is Slumdog millionaire a branding opportunity for India? what is it branding? The slums? the crime? the abject poverty? the child prostitution? etc. I have never been to India but this is the image I now have of it,thanks to Slumdog millionaire. Is this the same way we want to brand Nigeria; to show the corruption, the crime, the juju, the lack of power supply, the inefficient police etc. Because we would have to show the dark side of Africa to win an Oscar. Tsotsi- the South African film to win one did and so did City of God-the Brazillian film.
While these things exist in these countries, they also exist in the West, but I am yet to see a movie depicting and possibly exagerating the teenage knife crime in the Uk.

To win an Oscar, dear Reuben Abati and Toyin Subair, while a good story, directing etc may be important, what would be most important would be to show the darkest side of us. Binyavanga Wainana puts it perfectly in his article 'How to write about Africa'.
Nollywood needs to up it's game as they very well will, but it won't be in an attempt to win an Oscar, it would be first to give its audience a better experience which they deserve.

4 comments:

mike said...

FIRST. FOR REUBEN ABATI TO HAVE WATCHED SLUM DOG.... AND WROTE AN ARTICLE ABOUT IT. I THINK I WOULD LOOK FOR A WAY ABOUT IT. YOU SPEAK THE TRUTH. NOLLYWOOD NEEDS TO WORK HARDER.

Writefreak said...

I hear you! I really hear you in this post and i have gone to read Reuben Abati's article.
I think for a movie to succeed worldwhile, then it should be showing dark things about the continent
Nollywood needs a lot of work but hopefully we will get there someday!

Fashinga said...

Heyyy...just stopping by to show sum luv!!!!! will be back..
Laters!!!
F.

N.I.M.M.O said...

I think what Abati was saying was about the opportunity in writing and shooting a film like 'Slumdog'. I am sure the people of Mumbai did not like it too but it has brought them some level of economic benefits and even some exposure to the slum dwellers.

I think there could be some good there.