yesterday, i posted a blog review on the response to the District 9 film on the NigeriansTalk.org blog. I have previously expressed my disgust towards the film. Over the weekend, Minister of Information, Dora Akunyili, finally registered her own disdain towards the film. As much I stand in support of her stern condemnation of the film, I do not, however agree with her proposal (or is is already in effect?) to ban the film from showing in Nigerian movie houses.
If we continue to censor such images, how can we, as bloggers and as a nation, counter such offensive portrayals. It is largely through our ability to access such information that ordinary Nigerian citizens can assist in Akunyili’s rebranding project. The Nigerian government’s willingness to take on District 9, should also be seen as a victory to the many Nigerian bloggers who took offense to this film. One would hope that Akunyili’s mission is not one of censorship which gives birth to misinformation and impedes upon the progress Nigerians have made and continue to make in the blogosphere. Such would be counter-intuitive to the goals of promoting Good People and creating a Great Nation.Olumide at his blog, highlights a double standard that may be in existence here. While we openly condemn negative portrayals of Nigerians in the foriegn media, some of our own filmmakers, for years, have made their living of depictions of our people in similar circumstances. Nollywood, though it is slowly changing, could have credited its foundations to rubbishing the image of its own people.*** Similarities between early Nollywood pictures and blaxploitation films in America can be found. Will think on this more in a follow-up post.
***Of course, I need to add the caveat that this is not all of Nollywood. Additionally, I must add that Nollywood features examples in which our dirty laundry needs to be aired in public, such as in the film Edikan (re the child witch phenomenon).