I know two things about Nigeria and that’s about it. It’s in Africa and there seems to be a lot of royalty there with money tied up in red tape. One thing that I didn’t know was that Nigeria is home to the world’s third largest film industry and that they release between 500 and 1000 movies a year. That’s a shitload of movies! Particularly from such a poor country. What’s even more impressive is how quickly this industry has sprung up. Since 1995, the Nigerian film industry exploded and they continue to crank out films today that deal with a huge variety of topics that are relevant to what seems like Nigerians and Nigerians alone. To quote the Michael Stevenson article that I will inevitably link to:
The aesthetic is loud, violent, excessive; nothing is said, everything is shouted.
Consider me immediately fascinated. I think I’m going to have to do some real research and track some of this Nigerian cinema down. I know I’ll wind up with some cheap action and horror movies but would you expect anything else? I usually don’t care much for a particular nation’s culturally significant movies. There’s something to be said about the lower end of their cinematic spectrum. What a bunch of effete intellectual filmmakers are doing with storytelling and imagery represents nothing to me. What does is what the average people are going to see which is why I tend to gravitate to gun-porn and martial arts in the East and ghetto action from France.
Anyway, for some really striking photography that represents common elements and stereotypes of Nigerian movies drop by Michael Stevenson’s page for a quick exhibit of photos by Pieter Hugo. In the meantime, I plan on tracking down Welcome To Nollywood as an introduction.